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SCIENCE FICTION 



MAY 1957 

35<* 







WHO'LL OWN 
THE PLANETS ? 

by 

WILLY 
LEY 



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Time 

in the Rormd 

by 

FRITZ 
LEIBER 



Survival Kit 

by 

FREDERIK 



POHL 






AND 
OTHER STORIES 




If W0s> '* 



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^^^M^MMflBHlHttHttm 




BUILD IT YOURSELF in a few hours! 



You can build 


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Airlock 


Carrying 


Intelligence 


Comparing 


Tester 


Machine 


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Reasoning 


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Puzzle 


General Com- 


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bination 


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Each Wednesday nite on Radio.' 
Check your local listings for the best 
stories from 
dramatized 



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Galaxy — forcefully 
— its Naturally your 
Best Choice for tops in adult Science 
Fiction. 




X-l=The choice from Galaxy, adapted by the tops at N.B.G 



■ 



MAY, 1957 



VOL. 14, NO. 1 






SCIENCE FICTI 

ALL ORIGINAL STORIES • NO REPRINTS! 



CONTENTS 



NOVELETS 



SURVIVAL KIT by Frederik Pohl 6 

A TOUCH OF E FLAT by Joe Gibson 76 

TIME IN THE ROUND by Fritz Leiber 126 



I 



SHORT STORIES 

THE LANGUAGE OF LOVE by Robert Sheckley 39 

FOUNDING FATHER by Clifford D. Simak 63 

DOUBLE DOME by Raymond E. Banks 97 

QUOTA FOR CONQUEST by Richard Wilson 111 

S 

SCIENCE DEPARTMENT 

FOR YOUR INFORMATION by Willy Ley 51 

Who'll Own the Planets? 

FEATURES 

EDITOR'S PAGE by H. L. Gold 4 

FORECAST 121 

GALAXY'S FIVE STAR SHELF by Floyd C Gale 122 

Cover by PEDERSON Showing PORT OF ENTRY — PHOBOS 



ROBERT M. GUINN, Publisher H. L. GOLD, Editor 

WILLY LEY, Science Editor 
W. I. VAN DER POEL, Art Director JOAN J. De MARIO, Production Manager 

GALAXY Science Fiction is published monthly by Galaxy Publishing Corporation. Main offices: 
421 Hudson Street, New York 14, N. Y. 35c per copy. Subscription: (12 copies) $3.50 per 
year in the United States, Canada, Mexico, South and Central America and U. S. Possessions. 
Elsewhere $4.50. Entered as second-class matter at the Post Office, New York, N. Y. Copyright, 
New York 1957, by Galaxy Publishing Corporation, Robert M. Guinn, president. All rights, includ- 
ing translations reserved. All material submitted must be accompanied by self-addressed stamped 
envelopes. The publisher assumes no responsibility for unsolicited material. All stories printed in 
this magazine are fiction, and any similarity between characters and actual persons is coincidental. 

Printed in the U.S.A. by The Guinn Co., Inc., N. Y. 14, N. Y. Title Reg. U.S. Pat. Off. 



BEHIND THE CO 




TF, LIKE ME, you squirrel 
■*■ away odd facts, you'll remem- 
ber this item as a sure way to 
steer dull table talk into a merry 
chase : 

There are invariably nine, 
eleven or thirteen rows of kernels 
on an ear of corn. 

Detective writer and gardener 
Rex Stout had a fine time with 
this fact. When a rival gardener 
got Stout's back up with his hor- 
ticultural dogmas, the author 
pounced on the above statement 
with the information that his corn 
always had even rows of kernels. 
The argument led to a $100 bet. 

As devious in gardening as he 
is in plotting, Stout does such 
things as pinch off all but one bud 
on branch or vine. The plants 
then throw all they have into the 
production of monstrously huge 
fruit. None is fit to eat, but they 

cop the prizes at fairs. 

To win the $100, Stout care- 
fully opened several very young 
ears of corn in his garden and 
surgically removed a single row 
of kernels on each ear. Then he 
closed them and let them grow. 

At the end of the summer, he 
was able to watch his rival's dis- 
mayed face while counting all 
even rows. The man paid up, his 



dogmatism badly shaken. Stout 
let it shake for a while, then con- 
fessed the trick and handed back 
the money. 

It's fitting that a detective 
writer should be involved, for 
corn is as much of a mystery as 
bananas, of which I wrote some 
months ago. (This, incidentally, 
is a good time to credit Jim Bros- 
chart with the formula BA-f- 
2NA=BaNaNa. It appeared in 
Grue, an admirable fan magazine, 
as you can judge by this sample 
contribution.) I remembered the 
Stout anecdote when reading 
"The Mystery of Corn" by Paul 
C. Mangelsdorf in the Scientific 
American Reader, published by 
Simon 8b Schuster. 

Not wheat but corn, says the 
author, is the American staff of 

i 

life, for corn is the most impor- 
tant and efficient plant we have. 
Yet, like the banana, corn "has 
become so highly domesticated 
that it is no longer capable of re- 
producing itself without man's in- 
tervention. . . . The ear of corn 



has no counterpart anywhere else 
in the plant kingdom, either in 
nature or among other cultivated 
plants. It is superbly constructed 
for producing grain under man's 
(Continued on Page 144) 



GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION 



DON'T BE HALF-SATISFIED ! 

Reading one of this towering pair of science fiction novels as 
the current GALAXY serial, you're discovering the vast talent of 
Alfred Bester. * 

But have you read his famed THE DEMOLISHED MAN ? Lived 
in its vividly real telepathic society, detailed so ingeniously and dra- 
matically that, finishing the book, you'll find it hard to believe that 
society doesn't exist — yet ! 

By special arrangment with the publisher of THE DEMOLISHED 
MAN, we can offer you this magnificent book for $1.50, half the 
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By FREDERIK POHL 






•" L 

If wasn't fair— a smart hut luckless man 
like Mooney had to scrounge, while I 
always made out just because he had 



i — * 




Illustrated by GAUGHAN 



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GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION 



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OONEY looked out of 
his window, and the sky 
was white. 
It was a sudden, bright, cold 
flare and it was gone again. It 
had no more features than a fog, 
at least not through the window 
that was showered with snow 
and patterned with spray from 
the windy sea. 

Mooney blew on his hands and 
frowned at the window. 

"Son of a gun," he said, and 
thought for a moment about 

phoning the Coast Guard station. 
Of course, that meant going a 
quarter of a mile in the storm to 
reach the only other house near- 
by that was occupied; the Han- 
sons had a phone that worked, 
but a quarter of a mile was a 
long way in the face of a Decem- 
ber gale. And it was all dark out 
there now. Less than twenty miles 
across the bay was New York, 
but this Jersey shore coast was 



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SURVIVAL KIT 



harsh as the face of the Moon. 
Mooney decided it was none 

of his business. 

He shook the kettle, holding it 

with an old dish towel because 

I 

it was sizzling hot. It was nearly 

empty, so he filled it again and 
put it back on the stove. He had 
all four top burners and the oven 
going, which made the kitchen 

- 

tolerably warm — as long as he 
wore the scarf and the heavy 
quilted jacket and kept his hands 
in his pockets. And there was 
plenty of tea. 

Uncle Lester had left that much 
behind him — plenty of tea, near- 
ly a dozen boxes of assorted 
cookies and a few odds and ends 
of canned goods. And God's own 
quantity of sugar. 

It wasn't exactly a balanced 

LllCL, UUL J.VJLUvsuC.y Hau lived un 

it for three weeks now — smoked 
turkey sausages for breakfast, and 
oatmeal cookies for lunch, and 
canned black olives for dinner. 
And always plenty of tea. 



f I 1 HE wind screamed at him 
■■■ as he poured the dregs of his 



three o'clock, and then he could 
go to bed and, with any luck, 
sleep till past noon. 

And Uncle Lester had left a 
couple of decks of sticky, child- 
handled cards behind him, too, 
when the family went back to 
the city at the end of the sum- 
mer. So what with four kinds of 
solitaire, and solo bridge, and 
television, and a few more naps, 
Mooney could get through to the 
next two or three a.m. again. If 
only the wind hadn't blown down 
the antenna! 

But as it was, all he could get 
on the cheap little set his uncle 

■ 

had left behind was a faint gray 
herringbone pattern — 

He straightened up with the 
kettle in his hand, listening. 

It was almost as though some- 
body was knocking at the door. 

"That's crazy," Mooney said 
out loud after a moment. He 
poured the water over the tea 
bag, tearing a little corner off 
the paper tag on the end of the 
string to mark the fact that this 
was the second cup he had made 
with the bag. He had found he 



last cup of tea into the sink and could get three cups out of a 



spooned sugar into the cup for 
the next one. It was, he calcu- 
lated, close to midnight. If the 
damn wind hadn't blown down 
the TV antenna, he could be 
watching the late movies now. It 
helped to pass the time; the last 
movie was off the air at two or 



single bag, but even loaded with 
sugar, the fourth cup was no 
longer very good. Still, he had 
carefully saved all the used, dried- 
out bags against the difficult fu- 
ture day when even the tea would 
be gone. 

That was going to be one bad 



3 



GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION 



day for Howard Mooney. 

Rap, tap. It really was some- 
one at the door! Not knocking, 
exactly, but either kicking at it 
or striking it with a stick. 

Mooney pulled his jacket tight 
around him and walked out into 
the frigid living room, not quite 
so frigid as his heart. 

"Damn!" he said. "Damn, 
damn!" 

What Mooney knew for sure 
was that nothing good could be 
coming in that door for him. It 
might be a policeman from Sea 
Bright, wondering about the light 
in the house; it might be a mem- 
ber of his uncle's family. It was 
even possible that one of the 
stockholders who had put up the 
money for that unfortunate ven- 
ture into frozen-food club man- 
agement had tracked him down 
as far as the Jersey shore. It 
could be almost anything or any- 
body, but it couldn't be good. 

All the same, Mooney hadn't 
expected it to turn out to be a 
tall, lean man with angry pale 
eyes, wearing a silvery sort of 




^T come in," said the angry 

man, and did. 

Mooney slm7£? ed the door be " 
hind him. Too bad, tiu! he 
couldn't keep it open, even if it 
was conceding a sort of moral 
right to enter to the stranger; 
he couldn't have all that cold air 



coming in to dilute his little 
bubble of warmth. 

"What the devil do you want?" 
Mooney demanded. 

The angry man looked about 
him with an expression of revul- 
sion. He pointed to the kitchen. 
"It is warmer. In there?" 

"I suppose so. What do — " But 
the stranger was already walking 
into the kitchen. Mooney scowled 
and started to follow, and stopped, 
and scowled even more. The 
stranger was leaving footprints 
behind him, or anyway some kind 
of marks that showed black on 
the faded summer rug. True, he 
was speckled with snow, but — 
that much snow? The man was 
drenched. It looked as though 
he had just come out of the 
ocean. 

The stranger stood by the stove 
and glanced at Mooney warily. 
Mooney stood six feet, but this 
man was bigger. The silvery sort 
of thing he had on covered his 
legs as far as the feet, and he 
wore no shoes. It covered his 
body and his arms, and he had 
silvery gloves on his hands. It 
stopped at the neck, in a collar 
of what locked like pure silver, 
but could not have been because 
it gave with every breath the man 
took and every tensed muscle or 
+«r^ o n in his neck. His head was 

bare and his u21T was black > cut 
very short. 

He was carrying something flat 



SURVIVAL KIT 



and shiny by a molded handle. 
If it had been made of pigskin, 
it would have resembled a junior 
executive's briefcase. 

The man said explosively : "You 

will help me." 

P 

Mooney cleared his throat. 
"Listen, I don't know what you 
want, but this is my house and- 

"You will help me," the man 
said positively. "I will pay you. 
Very well?" 

He had a peculiar way of part- 
ing his sentences in the middle, 
but Mooney didn't care about 



looked into it, squeezing it by 
the edges, and holding it this way 
and that. 

■ 

Finally he said: "I must go to 
Wednesday, the twenty-sixth of 
December, at — " He tilted the 
little round thing again. "Brook- 
lyn?" he finished triumphantly. 

Mooney said, after a second: 
"That's a funny way to put it." 

"Question?" 

"I mean," said Mooney, "I 
know where Brooklyn is and I 
know when the twenty-sixth of 
December is — it's next week — 
that. He suddenly cared about but you have to admit that that's 



» 



one thing and that was the word 



"pay." 



"What do you want me to 
do?" 



an odd way of putting it. I mean 

you don't go anywhere in time." 

The wet man turned his pale 

eyes on Mooney. "Perhaps you 



The angry-eyed man ran his are. Wrong?" 
gloved hands across his head and 
sluiced drops of water onto the 
scuffed linoleum and the bedding 
of the cot Mooney had dragged 
into the kitchen. He said irritably: 
"I am a wayfarer who needs a. 
Guide? I will pay you for your 
assistance." 

The question that rose to 
Mooney's lips was "How much?" 
but he fought it back. Instead, he 
asked, "Where do you want to 

go* 

"One moment." The stranger 
sat damply oh the edge of 
Mooney's cot and, click-*^' t ^ e 



H 



11/rOONEY stared at his nap- 
-*-" ping guest in a mood of won- 
der and fear and delight. 

Time traveler! But it was hard 
to doubt the pale-eyed man. He 
had said he was from the future 
and he mentioned a datp +Yiax 
made MCGIiey gasp. He had said : 
"When you speak to me, you 

must know that my. Np^ ie ) j s 
Harse." And ^ ien he had curled 

Up on the floor, surrounding his 
shiny briefcase like a mother cat 



s my sort o une f case opened it- around a kitten, and begun doz- 



SfOf 



-* * m his hands. He took out a 
flat round thing like a mirror and 



ing alertly. 

But not before he showed 



10 



GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION 



"No, no\" said Harse again, 
grinning, snapping the balls to- 
gether like poppets in a string. 
"After you have guided me to 
Brooklyn and the December 
twenty-sixth. But I must say to 
you. This? That some of the balls 
contain plutonium and some radi- 
um. And I do not think that you 
can get them. Open? But if you 

4 

did, you perhaps would die. Oh. 
Ho?" And, laughing, he began his 
taut nap. 



M 



OONEY swallowed the last 
of his icy tea. It was full 

daylight outside. 

Very well, castaway, he said 

silently to the dozing pale-eyed 

man, I will guide you. Oh, there 



Mooney just what it was he pro- 
posed to pay him with. 

Mooney sipped his cooling tea 
and forgot to shiver, though the 
drafts were fiercer and more bit- 
ing than ever, now just before 
dawn. He was playing with what 
had looked at first like a string 
of steel ball-bearings, a child's 
necklace, half-inch spheres linked 
together in a strand a yard long. 

Wampum! That was what 
Harse had called the spheres 
when he picked the string out of 
his little kit, and that was what 

* 

they were. 

Each ball-bearing was hollow. 
Open them up and out come the 
treasures of the crown. Pop, and 

one of the spheres splits neatly 
in half, and out spills a star sap- never was a guide like Mooney — 

not when a guide's fee can run 
so high. But when you are where 
you want to go, then we'll discuss 
the price ... 

A hacksaw, he schemed, and a 
Geiger counter. He had worn his 
fingers raw trying to find the little 
button or knob that Harse had 
used to open them. All right, he 
was licked there. But there were 
more ways than one to open a 
cat's eye. 

A hacksaw. A Geiger counter. 
And, Mooney speculated drow- 
sily, maybe a gun, if the pale- 
eyed man got tough. 

Mooney fell asleep in joy and 
anticipation for the first time in 
more than a dozen years. 



phire, as big as the ball of your 
finger, glittering like the muted 
lights of hell. Pop, and another 
sphere drops a ball of yellow gold 
into your palm. Pop for a nar- 
whal's tooth, pop for a cube of 
sugar; pop, pop, and there on the 
table before Harse sparkled dia- 
monds and lumps of coal, a packet 

* 

of heroin, a sphere of silver, 
pearls, beads of glass, machined 
pellets of tungsten, lumps of saf- 
fron and lumps of salt. 

"It is," said Harse, "for your. 
Pay? No, no\" And he headed off 
Mooney's greedy fingers. 

Click, click, click, and the little 
pellets of treasure and trash were 
back in the steel balls. 



SURVIVAL KIT 



11 



T WAS bright the next morn- 
ing. Bright and very cold. 

"Look alive!" Mooney said to 
the pale-eyed man, shivering. It 
had been a long walk from Uncle 
Lester's house to the bridge, in 
that ripping, shuddering wind that 
came in off the Atlantic. 

Harse got up off his knees, from 
where he had been examining the 

asphalt pavement under the snow. 
He stood erect beside Mooney, 
while Mooney put on an egg- 
sucking smile and aimed his 
thumb down the road. 

The station wagon he had spot- 
ted seemed to snarl and pick up 
speed as it whirled past them 
onto the bridge. 

"I hope you skid into a ditch!" 



"Here comes another. Car?" 

Mooney dragged back the 
corners of his lips into another 
smile and held out his thumb. 

It was a panel truck, light blue, 
with the sides lettered: Chris's 
Delicatessen. Free Deliveries. The 
driver slowed up, looked them 
over and stopped. He leaned 
toward the right-hand window. 

He called: "I can take you 
f ar's Red Ba -" 

He got a good look at Mooney's 
companion then and swallowed. 
Harse had put on an overcoat 
because Mooney insisted on it 
and he wore a hat because 
Mooney had told him flatly there 
would be trouble and questions 
if he didn't. But he hadn't taken 
Mooney bawled into the icy air. off his own silvery leotard, which 
He was in a fury. There was a peeped through between neck and 
bus line that went where they hat and where the coat flapped 



wanted to go. A warm, comfort- 
able bus that would stop for them 
if they signaled, that would drop 
them just where they wanted to 
be, to convert one of Harse's ball- 
bearings into money. The gold 
one, Mooney planned. Not the 
diamond, not the pearl. Just a 
few dollars was all they wanted, 
in this Jersey shore area where 
the towns were small and the 
gossip big. Just the price of fare 
into New York, where they could 
make their way to Tiffany's. 

But the bus cost thirty-five 
cents apiece. Total, seventy cents. 
Which they didn't have. 



open. 

" — ank," finished the driver 
thoughtfully. 

Mooney didn't give him a 
chance to change his mind. "Red 
Bank is just where we want to 
go. Come on!" Already he had his 
hand on the door. He jumped in, 
made room for Harse, reached 
over him and slammed the door. 

"Thank you very much," he 
said chattily to the driver. "Cold 
morning, isn't it? And that was 
some storm last night. Say, we 
really do appreciate this. Any- 
where in Red Bank will be all 
right to drop us, anywhere at all." 



12 



GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION 



He leaned forward slightly, just 
enough to keep the driver from 
being able to get a really good 
look at his other passenger. 

It would have gone all right, 
it really would, except that just 
past Fair Haven, Harse suddenly 
announced: "It is the time for me 
to. Eat?" 



TT E SNIP-SNAPPED some- 
■*•■*■ thing around the edges of the 
gleaming sort of dispatch case, 
which opened. Mooney, peering 
over his shoulder, caught glimpses 
of shiny things and spinning 
things and things that seemed to 
glow. So did the driver. 

"Hey," he said, interested, 
"what've you got there?" 

"My business," said Harse, 
calmly and crushingly. 

The driver blinked. He opened 
his mouth, and then he shut it 
again, and his neck became rather 
red. 

Mooney said rapidly: "Say, 
isn't there — uh — isn't there a lot 
of snow?" He feigned fascination 
with the snow on the road, lean- 



one end and little pellets dropped 
out into a cup. Harse picked a 
couple up and began to chew 
them. A flat, round object the 
shape of a cafeteria pie flipped 
open and something gray and 
doughy appeared — 

"Holy heaven!" 

Mooney's face slammed into 
the windshield as the driver 
tramped on his brakes. Not that 
Mooney could really blame him. 
The smell from that doughy mass 
could hardly be believed; and 
what made it retchingly worse 
was that Harse was eating it with 
a pearly small spoon. 

The driver said complainingly: 
"Out! Out, you guys! I don't mind 
giving you a lift, but I've got 
hard rolls in the back of the 
truck and that smell's going to 
— Out! You heard me!" 

"Oh," said Harse, tasting hap- 
pily. "No." 

"No?" roared the driver. "Now 

* 

listen! I don't have to take any 
lip from hitchhikers! I don't have 
to-" 

"One moment," said Harse. 



ing forward until his face was "Please." Without hurry and with- 



nearly at the frosty windshield. 
"My gosh, I've never seen the 
road so snowy!" 

Beside him, Harse was method- 
ically taking things out of other 
things. A little cylinder popped 
open and began to steam; he put 
it to his lips and drank. A cube 
the size of a fist opened up at 



out delay, beaming absently at 
the driver, he reached into the 
silvery case again. Snip, snippety- 
snap; a jointed metal thing wrig- 
gled and snicked into place. And 
Harse, still beaming, pointed it 
at the driver. 

Pale blue light and a faint 
whine. 



SURVIVAL KIT 



13 






It was a good thing the truck 
was halted, because the whining 
blue light reached diffidently out 
and embraced the driver; and 
then there was no driver. There 
was nothing. He was gone, beyond 

* 

the reach of any further lip from 
hitchhikers. 



Ill 



J5 



^ O THERE was Mooney, driv- 
^ ing a stolen panel truck, 
Mooney the bankrupt, Mooney 
the ne'er-do-well, and now 
Mooney the accomplice murderer. 
Or so he thought, though the 
pale-eyed man had laughed like a 
panther when he'd asked. 

He rehearsed little speeches all 
the day down U.S. One, Mooney 

i 

did, and they all began: "Your 
Honor, I didn't know- 

Well, he hadn't. How could a 
man like Mooney know that 
Harse was so bereft of human 
compassion as to snuff out a life 
for the sake of finishing his lunch 
in peace? And what could Mooney 

* 

have done about it, without draw- 
ing the diffident blue glow to 
himself? No, Your Honor, really, 
Your Honor, he took me by sur- 
prise ... 

But by the time they ditched 
the stolen car, nearly dry of gas, 
at the Hoboken ferry, Mooney 
had begun to get his nerve back. 
In fact, he was beginning to per- 
ceive that in that glittering sil- 



very dispatch case that Harse 

I 

hugged to him were treasures 
that might do wonders for a smart 
man unjustly dogged by hard 
times. The wampum alone! But 
beyond the wampum, the other 
good things that might in time 
be worth more than any amount 
of mere money. 

There was that weapon. 
Mooney cast a glance at Harse, 
blank-eyed and relaxed, very 
much disinterested in the crowds 
of commuters on the ferry. 

Nobody in all that crowd would 
believe that Harse could pull out 
a little jointed metal thing and 
push a button and make any one 
of them cease to exist. Nobody 
would believe it — not even a 
jury. Corpus delicti, body of evi- 
dence — why, there would be no 
evidence! It was a simple, work- 
able, foolproof way of getting 
any desired number of people out 
of the way without fuss, muss or 
bother — and couldn't a smart but 
misfortunate man like Mooney 
do wonders by selectively remov- 
ing those persons who stood as 
obstacles in his path? 

And there would be more, 
much, much more. The thing to 
do, Mooney schemed, was to find 
out just what Harse had in that 
kit and how to work it; and then 
-^ who could know, perhaps Harse 
would himself find the diffident 
blue light reaching out for him 
before the intersection of Brook- 



14 



GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION 



* - 



lyn and December twenty-sixth? 

Mooney probed. 

"Ah," laughed Harse. "Ho! I 
perceive what you want. You 
think perhaps there is something 
you can use in my survival kit." 

"All right, Harse," Mooney said 
submissively, but he did have 
reservations. , 

First, it was important to find 
out just what was in the kit. After 
that - 

Well, even a man from the fu- 
ture had to sleep. 



ll/TOONEY was in a roaring 
-*•" rage. How dared the Gov- 
ernment stick its bureaucratic 
nose into a simple transaction of 
citizens! But it turned out to be 
astonishingly hard to turn Harse's 
wampum into money. The first 
jeweler asked crudely threatening 
questions about an emerald the 
size of the ball of his thumb; the 
second quoted chapter and verse 
on the laws governing possession 
of gold. Finally they found a 
pawnbroker, who knowingly ac- 
cepted a diamond that might 
have been worth a fortune; and 
when they took his first offer of 
a thousand dollars, the pawn- 
broker's suspicions were con- 
firmed. Mooney dragged Harse 
away from there fast. 

1 

But they did have a thousand 
dollars. 



and by the time they reached the 
other side, he was entirely con- 
tent. What was a fortune more 
or less to a man who very nearly 

I 

owned some of the secrets of the 
future? 

He sat up, lit a cigarette, waved 
an arm and said expansively to 

: "Our new home." 




The pale-eyed man took a glow- 
ing little affair with eyepieces 
away from in front of his eyes. 

"Ah," he said. "So." 

It was quite an attractive ho- 
tel, Mooney thought judiciously. 
It did a lot to take away the 
sting of those sordidly avaricious 
jewelers. The lobby was an im- 
pressively close approximation of 
a cathedral and the bellboys 
looked smart and able. 

Harse made an asthmatic 
sound. "What is. That?" He was 
pointing at a group of men stand- 
ing in jovial amusement around 
the entrance to the hotel's grand 
ballroom, just off the lobby. They 
were purple harem pants and 
floppy green hats, and every one 
of them carried a silver-paper imi- 

r 

tation of a scimitar. 

Mooney chuckled in a superior 
way. "You aren't up on our local 
customs, are you? That's a con- 
vention, Harse. They dress up 
that way because they belong to 
a lodge. A lodge is a kind of 
fraternal organization, A fraternal 



As the cab took them across organization is 



?? 



town, Mooney simmered down; 



Harse said abruptly: "I want." 



SURVIVAL KIT 



15 



Mooney began to feel alarm. 

"What?" 

"I want one for a. Specimen? 
Wait, I think I take the big one 
there." 

"Harse! Wait a minute!" 
Mooney clutched at him. "Hold 
everything, man! You can't do 
that." 

Harse stared at him. "Why?" 

"Because it would upset every- 
thing, that's why! You want to 
get to your rendezvous, don't 
you? Well, if you do anything 
like that, we'll never get there!" 

"Why not?" 

"Please," Mooney said, "please 
take my word for it. You hear 
me? I'll explain later!" 

Harse looked by no means con- 
vinced, but he stopped opening 
the silvery metal case. Mooney 
kept an eye on him while register- 
ing. Harse continued to watch the 
conventioneers, but he went no 
further. Mooney began to breathe 
again. 

"Thank you, sir," said the desk 
clerk — not every guest, even in 
this hotel, went for a corner suite 
with two baths. "Front!" 



A SMART-LOOKING bellboy 
-^*- stepped forward, briskly took 
the key from the clerk, briskly 
nodded at Mooney and Harse. 
With the automatic reflex of any 
hotel bellhop, he reached for 
Harse's silvery case. Baggage was 
baggage, however funny it looked. 



But Harse was not just any old 
guest. The bellboy got the bag 
away from him, all right, but his 
victory was purely transitory. He 
yelled, dropped the bag, grabbed 
his fist with the other hand. 

"Hey! It shocked me! What 
kind of tricks are you trying to 
do with electric suitcases?" 

Mooney moaned softly. The 
whole lobby was looking at them 
— even the conventioneers at the 
entrance to the ballroom; even 
the men in mufti mingling with 
the conventioneers, carrying cam- 
eras and flash guns; even the very 
doorman, the whole lobby away. 
That was bad. What was worse 
was that Harse was obviously get- 
ting angry. 

"Wait, wait!" Mooney stepped 
between them in a hurry. "I can 
explain everything. My friend is, 
uh, an inventor. There's some 
very important material in that 
briefcase, believe me!" 

He winked, patted the bellhop 
on the shoulder, took his hand 
with friendly concern and left in 
it a folded bill. 

"Now," he said confidentially, 
"we don't want any disturbance. 
I'm sure you understand how it 
is, son. Don't you? My friend 
can't take any chances with his, 
uh, confidential material, you see? 
Right. Well, let's say no more 
about it. Now if you'll show us 



» 



to our room- 

The bellhop, still stiff-backed, 



16 



GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION 



glanced down at the bill and the 
stiffness disappeared as fast as 



sprayed out of it in a greasy jet. 
It billowed towaro?Harse. It col- 



any truckdriver bathed in Harse's lected around him, swirled high. 

pale blue haze. He looked up again Now all the flashguns were pop- 
ping ... 

It was a clear waste of a twenty- 
dollar bill, Mooney told himself 
aggrievedly out on the sidewalk. 
There had been no point in but- 
tering up the bellhop as long as 
Harse was going to get them 
thrown out anyway. 



and grinned. 

"Sorry, sir — " he began. 

But he didn't finish. Mooney 
had let Harse get out of his sight 
a moment too long., 

The first warning he had was 
when there was a sudden commo- 
tion among the lodge brothers. 
Mooney turned, much too late. 
There was Harse; he had wan- 
dered over there, curious and in- 
terested and — Harse. He had 
stared them up and down, but he 
hadn't been content to stare. He 
had opened the little silvery dis- 
patch-case and taken out of it 
the thing that looked like a film 
viewer; and maybe it was a cam- 
era, too, because he was looking 
through it at the conventioneers. 
He was covering them as Dixie 
is covered by the dew, up and 
down, back and forth, heels to 
head. 

And it was causing a certain 
amount of attention. Even one 
of the photographers thought 
maybe this funny-looking guy 
with the funny-looking opera 
glasses was curious enough to be 
worth a shot. After all, that was 
what the photographer was there 
for. He aimed and popped a flash 
gun. 

There was an abrupt thin 
squeal from the box. Black fog 




N the other side of the East 
River, in a hotel that fell 
considerably below Mooney's re- 
cent, brief standards of excellence, 
Mooney cautiously tipped a bell- 
boy, ushered him out, locked the 
door behind him and, utterly ex- 
hausted, flopped on one of the 

twin beds. 

Harse glanced at him briefly, 
then wandered over to the win- 
dow and stared incuriously at the 
soiled snow outside. 

"You were fine, Harse," said 
Mooney without spirit. "You 
didn't do anything wrong at all." 

"Ah," said Harse without turn- 
ing. "So?" 

Mooney sat up, reached for the 
phone, demanded setups and a 
bottle from room service and 
hung up. 

"Oh, well," he said, beginning 
to revive, "at least we're in Brook- 
lyn now. Maybe it's just as well." 

"As well. What?" 

"I mean this is where you 



SURVIVAL KIT 



u 



* 



wanted to be. Now we just have 
to wait four days, until the twenty- 
sixth. We'll have to raise some 
more money, of course," he added 
experimentally. 

Harse turned and looked at him 
with the pale eyes. "One thousand 
dollars you have. Is not enough?" 

"Oh, no, Harse," Pvlooney as- 
sured him. "Why, that won't be 
nearly enough. The room rent in 
this hotel alone is likely to use 
that up. Besides all the extras, of 
course." 

"Ah." Harse, looking bored, sat 
down in the chair near Mooney, 
opened his kit, took out the thing 
that looked like a film viewer 
and put it to his eyes. 

"We'll have to sell some more 
of those things. After all — " 
Mooney winked and dug at the 
pale-eyed man's ribs with his el- 
bow —"we'll be needing some, 
well, entertainment." 

Harse took the viewer away 
from his eyes. He glanced thought- 
fully at the elbow and then at 
Mooney. "So," he said. 

Mooney coughed and changed 

* 

the subject. "One thing, though," 
he begged. "Don't get me in any 
more trouble like you did in that 
hotel lobby — or with that guy in 
the truck. Please? I mean, after 
all, you're making it hard for me 
to carry out my job." 

Harse was thoughtfully silent. 

"Promise?" Mooney urged. 

Harse said, after some more 



consideration : "It is hot altogether 
me. That is to say, it is a mat- 
ter of defense. My picture should 
not be. Photographed? So the sur- 
vival kit insures that it is not. 
You understand?" 

Mooney leaned back. "You 
mean — " The bellboy with the 
drinks interrupted him; he took 
the bottle, signed the chit, tipped 
the boy and mixed himself a rea- 
sonably stiff but not quite stupe- 
fying highball, thinking hard. 

"Did you say 'survival kit'?" he 
asked at last. 

Harse was deep in the viewer 
again, but he looked away from 
it irritably. "Naturally, survival 
kit. So that I can. Survive?" He 
went back to the viewer. 

Mooney took a long, thought- 
ful slug of the drink. 



^URVIVAL kit. Why, that 
^ made sense. When the Air 
Force boys went out and raided 
the islands in the Pacific during 
the war, sometimes they got shot 
down — and it was enemy terri- 
tory, or what passed for it. Those 
islands were mostly held by Japa- 
nese, though their populations 
hardly knew it. All the aborigi- 
nals knew was that strange birds 
crossed the sky and sometimes 
men came from them. The poli- 
tics of the situation didn't interest 
the headhunters. What really in- 
terested them was heads. 

But for a palatable second 



GAL 



Y SCIENCE 



CT i O N 



choice, they would settle for trade 
goods — cloth, mirrors, beads. 
And so the bomber pilots were 
equipped with survival kits — 
maps, trade goods, rations, wea- 
pons, instructions for proceeding 
to a point where, God willing, a 
friendly submarine might put 
ashore a rubber dinghy to take 
them off. 

Mooney said persuasively : 
"Harse. I'm sorry to bother you, 
but we have to talk." The man 
with the pale eyes took them 
away from the viewer again and 
stared at Mooney. "Harse, were 

you shot down like an airplane 
pilot?" 

4 

TTARSE frowned— not in anger, 
-■"■- or at least not at Mooney. 
It was the effort to make himself 
understood. He said at last: "Yes. 
Call it that." 

"And — and this place you want 

to go to — is that where you will 
be rescued?" 

"Yes." 

Aha, thought Mooney, and the 
glimmerings of a new idea began 
to kick and stretch its fetal limbs 
inside him. He put it aside, to 
bear and coddle in private. He 
said: "Tell me more. Is there any 
particular part of Brooklyn you 
have to go to?" 

"Ah. The Nexus Point?" Harse 
put down the viewer and, snap- 
snap, opened the gleaming kit. 
He took out the little round thing 



he had consuked in the house by 
the cold Jersey sea. He tilted it 
this way and that, frowned, con- 
sulted a small square sparkly 
thing that came from another part 
of the case, tilted the round 
gadget again. 

"Correcting for local time," he 
said, "the Nexus Point is one hour 
and one minute after midnight 
at what is called. The Vale of 
Cashmere?" 

Mooney scratched his ear. "The 
Vale of Cashmere? Where the 
devil is that — somewhere in 
Pakistan?" 

"Brooklyn," said Harse with an 
imp's grimace. "You are the guide 
and you do not know where you 

I 

are guiding me to?" 

Mooney said hastily : "All right, 

Harse, all right. I'll find it. But 
tell me one thing, will you? Just 
suppose — suppose, I said — that 
for some reason or other, we 
don't make it to the what-you- 
call, Nexus Point. Then what hap- 
pens?" 

Harse for once neither laughed 
nor scowled. The pale eyes opened 
wide and glanced around the 
room, at the machine-made can- 
dlewick spreads on the beds, at 
the dusty red curtains that made 
a "suite" out of a long room, at 
the dog-eared Bible that lay on 
the night table. 

"Suh," he stammered, "suh — 
suh — seventeen years until there 
is another Nexus Point!" 



SURVIVAL KIT 



19 



IV 



M 



OONEY dreamed miraculous 
dreams and not entirely be- 
cause of the empty bottle that 
had been full that afternoon. 
There never was a time, never 
will be a time, like the future 
Mooney dreamed of — Mooney- 
owned, houri-inhabited, a fair do- 
main for a live-wire Emperor of 
the Eons . . . 

He woke up with a splitting 

head. 



whatever; and besides, he didn't 
seem to be able to move. 

Thought Mooney with anger 
and desperation: I'm dead. And: 
What a time to die! 

But second thoughts changed 
his mind; there was no heaven 
and no hell, in all the theologies 
he had investigated, that included 
being walked over by tiny spiders 
of ice. He felt them. There was 
no doubt about it. 

It was Harse, of course — had 
to be. Whatever he was up to, 



Even a man from the future Mooney couldn't say, but as he 
had to sleep, so Mooney had lay there sweating cold sweat and 



thought, and it had been in his 
mind that, even this first night, 
it might pay to stay awake a 
little longer than Harse, just in 
case it might then seem like a 
good idea to — well, to bash him 
over the head and grab the bag. 
But the whiskey had played him 
dirty and he had passed out — 
drunk, blind drunk, or at least 
he hoped so. He hoped that he 
hadn't seen what he thought he 
had seen sober. 

He woke up and wondered 

* 

what was wrong. Little tinkling 
ice spiders were moving around 
him. He could hear their tiny 
crystal sounds and feel their chill 
legs, so lightly, on him. It was 
still a dream — wasn't it? 

Or was he awake? The thing 
was, he couldn't tell. If he was 
awake, it was the middle of the 
night, because there was no light 



feeling the crawling little feet, he 
knew that it was something Harse 
had made happen. 

Little by little, he began to 
be able to see — not much, but 
enough to see that there really 
was something crawling. What- 
ever the things were, they had a 
faint, tenuous glow, like the face 
of a watch just before dawn. He 
couldn't make out shapes, but he 
could tell the size — not much 
bigger than a man's hand — and 
he could tell the number, and 
there were dozens of them. 

He couldn't turn his head, but 
on the walls, on his chest, on his 
face, even on the ceiling, he could 
see faint moving patches of fox- 
fire light. 



HE TOOK a deep breath. 
"Harse!" he started to call; 
wake him up, make him stop this! 



20 



GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION 



But he couldn't. He got no fur- 
ther than the first huff of the 
aspirate when the scurrying cold 
feet were on his lips. Something 

■ 

cold and damp lay across them 
and it stuck. Like spider silk, but 
stronger — he couldn't speak, 
couldn't move his lips, though he 
almost tore the flesh. 

i 

Oh, he could make a noise, all 
right. He started to do so, to 
snort and hum through his nose. 
But Mooney was not slow of 
thought and he had a sudden 
clear picture of that same cold 
ribbon crossing his nostrils, and 
what would be the use of all of 
time's treasures then, when it was 
no longer possible to breathe at 
all? 

It was quite apparent that he 
was not to make a noise. 

He had patience — the kind of 
patience that grows with a diet 
of thrice-used tea bags and soggy 
crackers. He waited. 



across the window; and he shud- 
dered, because that had been no 
fantasy. The window was cur- 
tained. And it was mid-morning, 
at the earliest, because the cham- 
bermaids were cleaning the halls. 

Why couldn't he move? He 
flexed the muscles of his arms 
and legs, but nothing happened. 
He could feel the muscles strain- 
ing, he could feel his toes and 
fingers twitch, but he was re- 
strained by what seemed a web 
of Gulliver's cords ... 

There was a tap at the door. 
A pause, the scratching of a key, 
and the room was flooded with 
light from the hall. 



Out of the straining corner of 
his eye, Mooney saw a woman in 
a gray cotton uniform, carrying 

fresh sheets, standing in the door- 
way, and her mouth was hang- 
ing slack. No wonder, for in the 
light from the hall, Mooney could 
see the room festooned with sil- 
It wasn't the middle of the ver, with darting silvery shapes 
night after all, he perceived, moving about. Mooney himself 



though it was still utterly dark 
except for the moving blobs. He 
could hear sounds in the hotel 
corridor outside — faintly, though: 
the sound of a vacuum cleaner, 
and it might have been a city 
block away; the tiniest whisper 
of someone laughing. 

He remembered one of his 
drunken fantasies of the night be- 
fore — little robot mice, or so 
they seemed, spinning a curtain 



wore a cocoon of silver, and on 
the bed next to him, where Harse 
slept, there was a fantastic silver 
hood, like the basketwork of a 
baby's bassinet, surrounding his 
head. 

It was a fairyland scene and it 
lasted only a second. For Harse 
cried out and leaped to his feet. 
Quick as an adder, he scooped up 
something from the table beside 
his bed and gestured with it at 



SURVIVAL KIT 



21 



the door. It was, Mooney half 
perceived, the silvery, jointed 
thing he had used in the truck; 
and he used it again. 

Pale blue light streamed out. 

It faded and the chambermaid, 
popping eyes and all, was gone. 




T DIDN'T hurt as much the 
second time. 

Mooney finally attracted 
Harse's attention, and Harse, with 
a Masonic pass over one of the 
little silvery things, set it to 
loosening and removing the silver 
bonds. The things were like toy 
tanks with jointed legs; as they 
spun the silver webs, they could 
also suck them in. In moments, 
the webs that held Mooney down 
were gone. 

He got up, aching in his tired 
muscles and his head, but this 
time the panic that had rilled him 
in the truck was gone. Well, one 
victim more or less — what did it 
matter? And besides, he clung to 
the fact that Harse had not ex- 
actly said the victims were dead. 

So it didn't hurt as much the 
second time. 

Mooney planned. He shut the 
door and sat on the edge of the 
bed. "Shut up — you put us in a 
lousy fix and I have to think a 
way out of it," he rasped at Harse 
when Harse started to speak; and 
the man from the future looked 

t t 

at him with opaque pale eyes, 




and silently opened one of the 
flat canisters and began to eat. 

"All right," said Mooney at last. 
"Harse, get rid of all this stuff." 

"This. Stuff?" 

"The stuff on the walls. What 
your little spiders have been spin- 
ning, understand? Can't you get 
it off the walls?" 






22 



GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION 




Harse leaned forward and 
touched the kit. The little spider- 
things that had been aimlessly 
roving now began to digest what 
they had created, as the ones that 
had held Mooney had already 
done. It was quick — Mooney 
hoped it would be quick enough. 
There were over a dozen of the 



things, more than Mooney would 

i 

have believed the little kit could 
hold; and he had seen no sign of 
them before. 

The silvery silk on the walls, in 
aimless tracing, disappeared. The 
thick silvery coat over the window 
disappeared. Harse's bassinet- 
hood disappeared. A construc- 



SURVIVAL KIT 



23 



tion that haloed the door disap- 
peared—and as it dwindled, the 
noises from the corridor grew 
louder; some sort of sound-ab- 
sorbing contrivance, Mooney 
thought, wondering. 

There was an elaborate silvery 
erector-set affair on the floor be- 



housekeeper — Mooney extracted 
a promise from Harse and left 
him. He carefully hung a "Do Not 
Disturb" card from the doorknob, 
crossed his fingers and took the 
elevator downstairs. 

The fact seemed to be that 
Harse didn't care about aborigi- 



tween the beds; it whirled and nals. Mooney had arranged a sys- 



spun silently and the little ma- 
chines took it apart again and 
swallowed it. Mooney had no no- 
tion of its purpose. When it was 
gone, he could see no change, but 
Harse shuddered and shifted his 
position uncomfortably. 

"All right," said Mooney when 
everything was back in the kit. 
"Now you just keep your mouth 
shut. I won't ask you to lie — 
they'll have enough trouble un- 
derstanding you if you tell the 
truth. Hear me?" 

Harse merely stared, but that 
was good enough. Mooney put his 
hand on the phone. He took a 

deep breath and aGld it Until his 

head began iG fegte and his face 

turned red. Then he picket u p 
the phone and, when he spoke, 
there was authentic rage and dis- 
tress in his voice. 

"Operator," he snarled, "give 
me the manager. And hurry up — 
I want to report a thief!" 



TJTHEN the manager had gone 

™ —along with the assistant 

manager, the house detective and 

the ancient shrew-faced head 



tern of taps on the door which, he 
thought, Harse would abide by, so 
that Mooney could get back in. 
Just the same, Mooney vowed to 
be extremely careful about how 
he opened that door. Whatever 
the pale blue light was, Mooney 
wanted no part of it directed at 
him. 

The elevator operator greeted 
him respectfully — a part of the 
management's policy of making 
amends, no doubt. Mooney re- 
turned the greeting with a barely 
civil nod. Sure, it had worked; 
he'd told the manager that he'd 
caught the chambermaid trying 
to steal something valuable that 
belonged to that celebrated pro- 
prietor of valuable secrets, Mr. 

the chambermaid had 

fled; how dared tnSJ ?™ploy a 
person like that? 

And he had made very sure 
that the manager and the house 
dick and all the rest had plenty 
of opportunity to snoop apolo- 
getically in every closet and un- 
der the beds, just so there would 

* 

be no suspicion in their minds 
that a dismembered chamber- 



Harssc, 



24 



GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION 



maid-torso was littering some 
dark corner of the room. What 
could they do but accept the 
story? The chambermaid wasn't 
there to defend herself, and 
though they might wonder how T 
she had got out of the hotel with- 
out being noticed, it was their 
problem to figure it out, not 
Mooney's to explain it. 

They had even been grateful 
when Mooney offered hand- 
somely to refrain from notifying 
the police. 

"Lobby, sir," sang out the ele- 
vator operator, and Mooney 
stepped out, nodded to the man- 
ager, stared down the house de- 
tective and walked out into the 
street. 

So far, so good. 

Now that the animal necessi- 
ties of clothes and food and a 
place to live were taken care of, 

Mooney had a chance to opGrstG. 
It was a field in which he had al- 
ways had a good deal of talent — 
the making of deals, the locating 
of contacts, the arranging of 
transactions that were better con- 
ducted in private. 

And he had a good deal of busi- 
ness to transact. Harse had ac- 
cepted without question his state- 
ment that they would have to 
raise more money. 

"Try heroin or. Platinum?" he 
had suggested, and gone back to 
his viewer. 

"I will," Mooney assured him, 



and he did; he tried them both, 
and more besides. 




OT only was it good that he 
had such valuable commodi- 
ties to vend, but it was a useful 
item in his total of knowledge 
concerning Harse that the man 
from the future seemed to have 
no idea of the value of money in 
the 20th Century, chez U.S. A. 

Mooney found a buyer for the 
drugs; and there was a few thou- 
sand dollars there, which helped, 
for although the quantity was not 
large, the drugs were chemically 
pure. He found a fence to handle 
the jewels and precious metals; 
and he unloaded all the ones of 
moderate value — not the other 
diamond, not the rubies, not the 
star sapphire. 

He arranged to keep those 
without mentioning it to Harse. 

t 

No point in selling them now, not 

when they had sev*:*! thousand 
dollars above any conceivable ex- 
penses, not when some future 
date would do as well, just in case 
Harse should get away with the 
balance of the kit. 

Having concluded his business, 
Mooney undertook a brief but ex- 
pensive shopping tour of his own 
and found a reasonably satisfac- 
tory place to eat. After a pleas- 
antly stimulating cocktail and the 
best meal he had had in some 
years — doubly good, for there 
was no reek from Harse's nause- 



SURVIVAL KIT 



25 



ating concoctions to spoil it — he 
called for coffee, for brandy, for 
the day's papers. 

The disappearance of the truck 
driver made hardly a ripple. 
There were a couple of stories, 
but small and far in the back — 
amnesia, said one; an underworld 
kidnaping, suggested another; but 
the story had nothing to feed on 
and it would die. 

Good enough, thought Mooney, 
waving for another glass of that 
enjoyable brandy; and then he 
turned back to the front page and 
saw his own face. 

There was the hotel lobby of 
the previous day, and a pillar of 
churning black smoke that 
Mooney knew was Harse, and 
there in the background, mouth 
agape, expression worried, was 
Howard Mooney himself. 

He read it all very, very care- 
fully. 

wen, ne thought, at least they 
didn't get our names. The story 
was all about the Loyal and Be- 
neficent Order of Exalted Eagles, 
and the only reference to the pic- 
ture was a brief line about a dis- 
turbance outside the meeting 
hall. Nonetheless, the second glass 
of brandy tasted nowhere near as 
good as the first. 



I ME passed. Mooney found a 
man who explained what was 

meant by the Vale of Cashmere. 

In Brooklyn, there is a very large 



park — the name is Prospect Park 
— and in it is a little planted val- 
ley, with a brook and a pool; and 
the name of it on the maps of 
Prospect Park is the Vale of 
Cashmere. Mooney sent out for 
a map, memorized it; and that 
was that. 

However, Mooney didn't really 
want to go to the Vale of Cash- 
mere with Harse. What he wanted 
was that survival kit. Wonders 
kept popping out of it, and each 
day's supply made Mooney covet 
the huger store that was still in- 
side. There had been, he guessed, 
something like a hundred sepa- 
rate items that had somehow 
come out of that tiny box. There 
simply was no room for them all; 
but that was not a matter that 
Mooney concerned himself with. 
They were there, possible or not, 
because he had .«*»cr. th~ 



_ *,+r*ZXM. 




Mooney laid traps. 

The trouble was that Harse did 
not care for conversation. He 
spent endless hours with his film 
viewer, and when he said any- 
thing at all to Mooney, it was to 
complain. All he wanted was to 
exist for four days — nothing else. 

Mooney laid conversational 
traps, tried to draw him out, and 
there was no luck. Harse would 
turn his blank, pale stare on him, 
and refuse to be drawn. 

At night, however hard Mooney 
tried, Harse was always awake 
past him; and in his sleep, always 



26 



GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION 




and always, the little metal guar- 

strapped Mooney tight. 
Survival kit? But how did the lit- 
tle metal things know that 
Mooney was a threat? 

It was maddening and time 
was passing. There were four 
days, then only three, then only 
two. Mooney made arrangements 
of his own. 

He found two girls — lovely 



Harse, made sure his fat new 
pigskin wallet was in his pocket, 
and took a cab to a place on 
Brooklyn's waterfront where cabs 
seldom go. The bartender had 
arms like beer kegs and a blue 

* 

chin. . - ■ 

"Beer," said Mooney, and made 
sure he paid for it with a twenty- 
dollar bill — thumbing through a 
thick wad of fifties and hundreds 



girls, the best that money could to find the smallest. He retired to 



buy, and he brought them to the 
suite with a wink and a snigger. 
"A little relaxation, eh, Harse? 
The red-haired one is named Gin- 
ger and she's partial to men with 
light-colored eyes." 

■ Ginger smiled a rehearsed and 
lovely smile. "I certainly am, Mr. 
Harse. Say, want to dance?" 

But it came to nothing, though 
the house detective knocked def- 
erentially on the door to ask if 
they could be a little more quiet, 
please. It wasn't the sound of 
celebration that the neighbors 
were objecting to. It was the 
shrill, violent noise of Harse's 
laughter. First he had seemed not 
to understand, and then he looked 
hs astonished as Mooney had 
ever seen him. And then the 
laughter. 

Girls didn't work. Mooney got 
rid of the girls. 

All right, Mooney was a man 
of infinite resource and sagacity 
—hadn't he proved that many a 
time? He excused himself to 



a booth and nursed his beer. 

After about ten minutes, a man 
stood beside him, blue-chinned 
and muscular enough to be the 
bartender's brother — which, 
Mooney found, he was. 

"Well," said Mooney, "it took 
you long enough. Sit down. You 
don't have to roll me; you can 
earn this." 

Girls didn't work? Okay, if not 
girls, then try boys . . . well, not 
boys exactly. Hoodlums. Try 
hoodlums and see what Harse 
might do against the toughest in- 
habitants of the area around the 
Gowanus Canal. 



XT ARSE, sloshing heedlessly 
-*"*• through melted snow, spat- 
tering Mooney, grumbled: "I do 
not see why we. Must? Wander 
endlessly across the face of this 
wretched slum." 

Mooney said soothingly: "We 
have to make sure, Harse. We 
have to be sure it's the right 
place." 



SURVIVAL KIT 



27 



"Huff," said Harse, but he went 
along. They were in Prospect 
Park and it was nearly dark. 

"Hey, look," said Mooney des- 
perately, "look at those kids on 
sleds!" 

I 

Harse glanced angrily at the 
kids on sleds and even more 
angrily at Mooney. Still, he 
wasn't refusing to come and that 
was something. It had been pos- 
sible that Harse would sit tight in 
the hotel room and it had taken 
all of the persuasive powers 
Mooney prided himself on to get 
him out. But Mooney was able to 
paint a horrible picture of getting 
to the wrong place, missing the 
Nexus Point, seventeen long years 
of waiting for the next one. 

They crossed the Sheep 
Meadow, crossed the walk, crossed 
an old covered bridge; and they 
were at the head of a flight of 
shallow steps. 

"The Vale of Cashmere!" cried 
Mooney, as though he were an- 
nouncing a miracle. 

Harse said nothing. 

Mooney licked his lips, glanc- 
ing at the kit Harse carried 
under an arm, glancing around. 
No one was in sight. 

Mooney coughed. "Uh. You're 
sure this is the place you mean?" 

"If it is the Vale of Cashmere." 
Harse looked once more down 
the steps, then turned. 

"No, wait!" said Mooney fran- 
tically. "I mean — well, where in 



y 



r 

the Vale of Cashmere is the 
Nexus Point? This is a big place!" 

■ 

Harse's pale eyes stared at him 
for a moment. "No. Not big." 

"Oh, fairly big. After all -" 

Harse said positively: "Come." 

Mooney swore under his breath 
and vowed never to trust anyone 
again, especially a bartender's 
brother; but just then it hap- 
pened. Out of the snowy bushes 
stepped a man in a red bandanna, 
holding a gun. "This is a stickup! 
Gimme that bag!" 

Mooney exulted. 

There was no chance for Harse 
now. The man was leaping to- 
ward him; there would be no time 
for him to open the bag, take out 
the weapon ... 

But he didn't have to. There 
was a thin, singing, whining sound 
from the bag. It leaped out of 
Harse's hand, leaped free as 
though it had invisible wings, and 
flew at the man in the red ban- 

i 

danna. The man stumbled and 
jumped aside, the eyes incredu- 
lous over the mask. The silvery 
flat metal kit spun round him, 
whining. It circled him once, spi- 
raled up. Behind it, like a smoke 
trail from a destroyer, a pale blue 
mist streamed backward. It sur- 
rounded the man and hid him. 

The bag flew back into Harse's 
hand. 

The violet mist thinned and, 
disappeared. 

And the man was gone, as ut- 



28 



GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION 



terly and as finally as any cham- 
bermaid or driver of a truck. 



In the writing room? Well, 
that was an advantage. The writ- 



There was a moment of silence, ing room was off the main lobby; 



Mooney stared without belief at 
the snow sifting down from the 
bushes that the man had hid in. 

Harse looked opaquely at 
Mooney. "It seems," he said, "that 
in these slums are many. Dan- 



gers 



p» 



TVTOONEY was very quiet on 
--" the way back to the hotel. 
Harse, for once, was not gazing 
into his viewer. He sat erect and 
silent beside Mooney, glancing at 
him from time to time. Mooney 
did not relish the attention. 

The situation had deteriorated. 

It deteriorated even more when 

they entered the lobby of the 

hotel. The desk clerk called to 

Mooney. 

Mooney hesitated, then said to 
Harse: "You go ahead. I'll be up 
in a minute. And listen — don't 
forget about my knock." 

Harse inclined his head and 
strode into the elevator. Mooney 
sighed. 

"There's a gentleman to see 
you, Mr. Mooney," the desk clerk 
said civilly. 

Mooney swallowed. "A — a gen- 
tleman? To see me?" 

The clerk nodded toward the 
writing room. "In there, sir. A 



it would give Mooney a chance to 
peek in before whoever it was 
could see him. He approached the 
entrance cautiously . . . 

"Howard!" cried an accusing 
familiar voice behind him. 

Mooney turned. A small man 
with curly red hair was coming 
out of a door marked "Men." 

"Why -why, Uncle Lester!" 
said Mooney. "What a p-pleasant 
surprise!" 

Lester, all of five feet tall, 

wispy red hair surrounding his 
red plump face, looked up at him 
belligerently. 

"No doubt!" he snapped. "IVe 
been waiting all day, Howard. 
Took the afternoon off from work 
to come here. And I wouldn't 
have been here at all if I hadn't 
seen this." 

He was holding a copy of the 
paper with Mooney's picture, be- 
hind the pillar of black fog. "Your 
aunt wrapped my lunch in it, 
Howard. Otherwise I might have 
missed it. Went right to the hotel. 
You weren't there. The doorman 
helped, though. Found a cab 
driver. Told me where he'd taken 
you. Here I am." 

"That's nice," lied Mooney. 

"No, it isn't. Howard, what in 



gentleman who says he knows the world are you up to? Do you 

you." know the Monmouth County po- 

Mooney pursed his lips. lice are looking for you? Said 



SURVIVAL KIT 



29 



there was somebody missing. 
Want to talk to you." The little 
man shook his head angrily. 
"Knew I shouldn't let you stay at 
my place. Your aunt warned me, 
too. Why do you make trouble 
for me?" 

"Police?" Mooney asked faintly. 

"At my age! Police coming to 
the house. Who was that fella 
who's missing, Howard? Where 
did he go? Why doesn't he go 
home? His wife's half crazy. He 
shouldn't worry her like that." 



MOONEY clutched his uncle's 
shoulder. "Do the police 
know where I am? You didn't 
tell them?" 

"Tell them? How could I tell 
them? Only I saw your picture 
while I was eating my sandwich, 
so I went to the hotel and — " 

"Uncle Lester, listen. What did 
they come to see you for?" 

"Because I was stupid enough 
to let you stay in my house, that's 
what for," Lester said bitterly. 
"Two days ago. Knocking on my 
door, hardly eight o'clock in the 
morning. They said there's a man 
missing, driving a truck, found 
the truck empty. Man from the 
Coast Guard station knows him, 
saw him picking up a couple of 
hitchhikers at a bridge someplace, 
recognized one of the hitchhikers. 
Said the hitchhiker'd been staying 
at my house. That's you, Howard. 
Don't lie; he described you. 



Pudgy, kind of a squinty look in 
the eyes, dressed like a bum — oh, 
it was you, all right." 

"Wait a minute. Nobody knows 
you've come here, right? Not 
even Auntie?" 

"No, course not. She didn't see 
the picture, so how would she 
know? Would've said something 
if she had. Now come on, Howard, 

* 

we've got to go to the police 
and-" 

"Uncle Lester!" 

The little man paused and 
looked at him suspiciously. But 
that was all right; Mooney began 
to feel confidence flow back into 
him. It wasn't all over yet, not 
by a long shot. 

"Uncle Lester," he said, his 
voice low-pitched and persuasive, 
"I have to ask you a very im- 
portant question. Think before 
you answer, please. This is the 
question : Have you ever belonged 
to any Communist organization?" 

The old man blinked. After a 
moment, he exploded. "Now what 
are you up to, Howard? You 
know I never — " 

I 

"Think, Uncle Lester! Please. 
Way back when you were a boy 
— anything like that?" 

"Of course not!" 

"You're sure? Because I'm 
warning you, Uncle Lester, you're 
going to have to take the strict- 
est security check anybody ever 
took. You've stumbled onto some- 
thing important. You'll have to 



30 



GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION 



the room 



three taps, pause, 



three taps — and cautiously 
pushed it open, the pale blue mist 
was just disappearing. Harse was 
standing angrily in the center of 
the room with the jointed metal 
thing thrust out ominously before 
him. 

And of Uncle Lester, there was 

no trace at all. 



55 



V 



prove you can be trusted or — 
well, I can't answer for the con- 
sequences. You see, this involves 
— " he looked around him furtive- 
ly — "Schenectady Project." 

"Schenec - " 

"Schenectady Project." Mooney 
nodded. "YouVe heard of the 
atom bomb? Uncle Lester, this is 
bigger!" 

"Bigger than the at- 

"Bigger. It's the molecule bomb. 

There aren't seventy-five men in 

the country that know what that 

so-called driver in the truck was 

up to, and now you're one of 
them" 

Mooney nodded soberly, feel- 
ing his power. The old man was 
hooked, tied and delivered. He 

could tell by the look in the eyes, time of night. I ought to 
by the quivering of the lips. Now 
was the time to slip the contract 
in his hand; or, in the present 
instance, to — 

"I'll tell you what to do," whis- 
pered Mooney. "Here's my key. 
You go up to my room. Don't 
knock — we don't want to attract 
attention. Walk right in. You'll 
see a man there and he'll explain 
everything. Understand?" 

"Why — why, sure, Howard. 

But why don't you come with 
me?" 

Mooney raised a hand warn- 
ingly. "You might be followed. 
I'll have to keep a lookout." 

Five minutes later, when 
Mooney tapped on the door of 



TpIME passed; and then time 
■*• was all gone, and it was mid- 
night, nearly the Nexus Point. 

In front of the hotel, a drowsy 
cab-driver gave them an argu- 
ment. "The Public Liberry? Lis- 
ten, the Liberry ain't open this 

- Oh, 

thanks. Hop in." He folded the 
five-dollar bill and put the cab 
in gear. 

Harse said ominously : "Liberry, 
Mooney? Why do you instruct 
him to take us to the Liberry?" 

Mooney whispered: "There's a 
law against being in the Park at 
night. We'll have to sneak in. The 
Library's right across the street." 

Harse stared, with his luminous 
pale eyes. But it was true; there 
was such a law, for the parks of 
the city lately had become fields 
of honor where rival gangs con- 
tended with bottle shards and 
zip guns, where a passerby was 
odds-on to be mugged. 

"High Command must know 



SURVIVAL KIT 



31 



this," Harse grumbled. "Must pro- 
ceed, they say, to Nexus Point. 
But then one finds the aboriginals 
have made laws! Oh, I shall make 
a report!" 

"Sure you will," Mooney 
soothed; but in his heart, he was 
prepared to bet heavily against 
it. 

Because he had a new strategy. 
Clearly he couldn't get the sur- 
vival kit from Harse. He had 
tried that and there was no luck; 
his arm still tingled as the bell- 
boy's had, from having seemingly 
absent-mindedly taken the handle 
to help Harse. But there was a 
way. 

Get rid of this clown from 
the future, he thought con- 
tentedly; meet the Nexus Point 
instead of Harse and there was 
the future, ripe for the taking! 
He knew where the rescuers would 
would be — and, above all, he 
knew how to talk. Every man has 
one talent and Mooney's was 
salesmanship. 

All the years wasted on ped- 
dling dime-store schemes like 
frozen-food plans! But this was 
the big time at last, so maybe 
the years of seasoning were not 
wasted, after all. 

"That for you, Uncle Lester," 
he muttered. Harse looked up 
from his viewer angrily' and 
Mooney cleared his throat. "I 
said," he explained hastily, "we're 
almost at the — the Nexus Point." 




32 



GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION 





SNOW was drifting down. The 
cab-driver glanced at the 
black, quiet library, shook his 
head and pulled away, leaving 
black, wet tracks in the thin 



snow. 
The 



looked 



pale-eyed man 
about him irritably. "You!" he 
cried, waking Mooney from a 
dream of possessing the next ten 
years of stock-market reports. 
"You! Where is this Vale of Cash- 
mere?" 

"Right this way, Harse, right 
this way," said Mooney placat- 
ingly. 

There was a wide sort of traffic 
circle — Grand Army Plaza was 
the name of it — and there were 
a few cars going around it. But 
not many, and none of them 
looked like police cars. Mooney 
looked up and down the broad, 
quiet streets. 

"Across here," he ordered, and 
led the time traveler toward the 
edge of the park. "We can't go 
in the main entrance. There 
might be cops." 

"Cops?" 

"Policemen. Law-enforcement 
officers. We'll just walk down 
here a way and then hop over the 
wall. Trust me," said Mooney, 
in the voice that had put frozen- 
food lockers into so many subur- 
ban homes. 

The look from those pale eyes 
was anything but a look of trust, 
but Harse didn't say anything. 



SURVIVAL KIT 



33 



He stared about with an expres- 
sion of detached horror, like an 
Alabama gentlewoman con- 
demned to walk through Harlem. 

"Now!" whispered Mooney ur- 
gently. 

And over the wall they went. 

They were in a thicket of 
shrubs and brush, snow-laden, the 
snow sifting down into Mooney's 
neck every time he touched a 
branch, which was always; he 
couldn't avoid it. They crossed a 
path and then a road— long, curv- 
ing, broad, white, empty. Down 
a hill, onto another path. Mooney 
paused, glancing around. 

"You know where you are. 
Going?" 

"I think so. I'm looking for 
None in sight. Mooney 
frowned. What the devil did the 
police think they were up to? 
They passed laws; why weren't 
they around to enforce them? 

Mooney had his landmarks well 
in mind. There was the Drive, 
and there was the fork he was 
supposed to be looking for. It 
wouldn't be hard to find the path 
to the Vale. The only thing was, 
it was kind of important to 
Mooney's hope of future pros- 
perity that he find a policeman 
first. And time was running out. 

He glanced at the luminous 
dial of his watch — self-winding, 
shockproof, non-magnetic; the 
man in the hotel's jewelry shop 
had assured him only yesterday 



cops. 



that he could depend on its time- 
keeping as on the beating of his 
heart. It was nearly a quarter of 
one. 

"Come along, come along!" 
grumbled Harse. 

Mooney stalled: "I — I think 
we'd better go along this way. It 
ought to be down there — " 

He cursed himself. Why hadn't 
he gone in the main entrance, 
where there was sure to be a 
cop? Harse would never have 
known the difference. But there 
was the artist in him that wanted 
the thing done perfectly, and so 
he had held to the pretense of 
avoiding police, had skulked and 
hidden. And now — 

"Look!" he whispered, pointing. 

Harse spat soundlessly and 
turned his eyes where Mooney 
was pointing. 

Yes. Under a distant light, a 
moving figure, swinging a night- 
stick. 

Mooney took a deep breath 
and planted a hand between 
Harse's shoulder blades. 

"Run!" he yelled at the top of 
his voice, and shoved. He sounded 
so real, he almost convinced him- 
self. "Well have to split up — 
I'll meet you there. Now runV f 



VI 



H, CLEVER Mooney! He 
crouched under a snowy 
tree, watching the man from the 




34 



GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION 



future speed effortlessly away . . . 
in the wrong direction. 

The cop was hailing him; clever 
cop! All it had taken was a couple 
of full-throated yells and at once 
the cop had perceived that some- 
one was in the park. But cleverer 
than any cop was Mooney. 

Men from the future. Why, 
thought Mooney contentedly, no 
Mrs. Meyerhauser of the suburbs 
would have let me get away with 
a trick like that to sell her a 
freezer. There's going to be no 
problem at all. I don't have to 
worry about a thing. Mooney can 
take care of himself! 

By then, he had caught his 
breath — and time was passing, 
passing. 

He heard a distant confused 
yelling. Harse and the cop? But 
it didn't matter. The only thing 
that mattered was getting to the 



down the steps toward the egg 
and the moving figures that flitted 
soundlessly around it. Harse was 
not the only time traveler, 
Mooney saw. Good, that might 
make it all the simpler. Should 
he change his plan and feign 
amnesia, pass himself off as one 

of their own men? 

Or- 

A movement made him look 
over his shoulder. 

Somebody was standing at the 
top of the steps. "Hell's fire," 
whispered Mooney. He'd forgot- 
ten all about that aboriginal law; 
and here above him stood a man 
in a policeman's uniform, staring 
down with pale eyes. 

No, not a policeman. The face 
was — Harse's. 

Mooney swallowed and stood 
rooted. 

"You!" Harse's savage voice 



Nexus Point at one minute past came growling. "You are to stand. 

Still?" 

Mooney didn't need the order; 
he couldn't move. No twentieth- 
century cop was a match for 
Harse, that was clear; Harse had 
bested him, taken his uniform 
away from him for camouflage — 
and here he was. 

Unfortunately, so was Howard 
Mooney. 

The figures below were look- 
ing up, pointing and talking; 
Harse from above was coming 
down. Mooney could only stand, 



one. 

He took a deep breath and be- 
gan to trot. Slipping in the snow, 
panting heavily, he went down 
the path, around the little glade, 
across the covered bridge. 

He found the shallow steps 
that led down to the Vale. 

And there it was below him: 
a broad space where walks joined, 
and in the space a thing shaped 
like a dinosaur egg, rounded and 
huge. It glowed with a silvery 
sheen. 



Confidently, Mooney started and wish — wish that he were 



SURVIVAL KIT 



35 



back in Sea Bright, living on 
cookies and stale tea, wish he had 
planned things with more intelli- 
gence, more skill — perhaps even 
with more honesty. But it was 
too late for wishing. 

Harse came down the steps, 
paused a yard from Mooney, 
scowled a withering scowl — and 
passed on. 

He reached the bottom of the 
steps and joined the others wait- 
ing about the egg. They all went 
inside. 

The glowing silvery colors 
winked and went out. The egg 
flamed purple, faded, turned trans- 
parent and disappeared. 

Mooney stared and, yelling a 
demand for payment, ran "stum- 
bling down the steps to where it 
had been. There was a round 
thawed spot, a trampled patch — 
nothing else. 

They were gone . . . 

Almost gone. Because there was 
a sudden bright wash of flame 
from overhead — cold silvery 
flame. He looked up, dazzled. 
Over him, the egg was visible as 
thin smoke, hovering. A smoky, 
half-transparent hand reached out 
of a port. A thin, reedy voice 
cried: "I promised you. Pay?" 

And the silvery dispatch-case 
sort of thing, the survival kit, 
dropped soundlessly to the snow 
beside Mooney. 

When he looked up again, the 
egg was gone for good. 



H 



E WAS clear back to the 
hotel before he got a grip 
on himself — and then he was 
drunk with delight. Honest Harse! 
Splendidly trustable Harse! Why, 
all this time, Mooney had been 
so worried, had worked so hard 
— and the whole survival kit was 
his, after all! 

He had touched it gingerly be- 
fore picking it up but it didn't 
shock him; clearly the protective 
devices, whatever they were, were 

off. 

He sweated over it for an 
hour and a half, looking for levers, 

buttons, a slit that he might pry 

wider with the blade of a knife. 

At last he kicked it and yelled, 

past endurance: "Open up, damn 

you!" 

It opened wide on the floor 
before him. 

"Oh, bless your heart!" cried 
Mooney, falling to his knees to 
drag out the string of wampum, 
the little mechanical mice, the 
viewing-machine sort of thing. 
Treasures like those were beyond 
price; each one might fetch a for- 
tune, if only in the wondrous new 
inventions he could patent if he 
could discover just how they 
worked. 

But where were they? 

Gone! The wampum was gone. 
The goggles were gone. Every- 
thing was gone — the little flat 
canisters, the map instruments, 
everything but one thing. 



36 



GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION 



There was, in a corner of the 
case, a squarish, sharp-edged thing 
that Mooney stared at blindly for 
a long moment before he recog- 
nized it. It was a part — only a 
part — of the jointed construction 
that Harse had used to rid him- 
self of undesirables by bathing 
them in blue light. 

What a filthy trick! Mooney all 
but sobbed to himself. 

He picked up the squarish 
thing bitterly. Probably it 
wouldn't even work, he thought, 
the world a ruin around him. It 
wasn't even the whole complete 
weapon. 

Still - 

There was a grooved, saddle- 
shaped affair that was clearly a 
sort of trigger; it could move for- 
ward or it could move back. 
Mooney thought deeply for a 
while. 

Then he sat up, held the thing 
carefully away from him with the 
pointed part toward the wall and 
pressed, ever so gently pressed 
forward on the saddle-shaped 
thumb-trigger. 

The pale blue haze leaped out, 

swirled around and, not finding 
anything alive in its range, 
dwindled and died. 




HA, THOUGHT Mooney, not 
everything is lost yet! Surely 
a bright young man could find 
some use for a weapon like this 
which removed, if it did not kill, 



which prevented any nastiness 
about a corpse turning up, or a 
messy job of disposal. 

Why not see what happened 
if the thumb-piece was moved 
backward? 

Well, why not? Mooney held 
the thing away from him, hesi- 
tated, and slid it back. 

There was a sudden shivering 
tingle in his thumb, in the gadget 
he was holding, running all up 
and down his arm. A violet haze, 
very unlike the blue one, licked 
soundlessly forth — not burning, 
but destroying as surely as flame 
ever destroyed; for where the haze 
touched the gadget itself, the kit, 
everything that had to do with 
the man from the future, it seared 

and shattered. The gadget fell 
into white crystalline powder in 
Mooney's hand and the case it- 
self became a rectangular shape 
traced in white powder ridges on 
the rug. 

Oh, no! thought Mooney, even 
before the haze had gone. It can't 
be! 

The flame danced away like a 
cloud, spreading and rising. While 
Mooney stared, it faded away, 
but not without leaving something 

behind. 

Mooney threw his taut body 
backward, almost under the bed. 
What he saw, he didn't believe; 
what he believed filled him with 
panic. 

No wonder Harse had laughed 



SURVIVAL KIT 



37 



so when Mooney asked if its vic- 
tims were dead. For there they 
were, all of them. Like djinn out 
of a jar, human figures jelled and 

solidified where the cloud of violet 
flame had not at all diffidently 
rolled. 

They were alive, as big as life, 

— and so 



and beginning to move 
many of them! Three 



five 



six: 



The truck-driver, yes, and a 
man in long red flannel under- 
wear who must have been the 
policeman, and Uncle Lester, and 
the bartender's brother, and the 
chambermaid, and a man Mooney 
didn't know. 

They were there, all of them; 
and they came toward him, and 
oh! but they were angry! 

FREDERIK POIIL 



TO 



KNOW 



BUY 



SCIENTOLOGY 



THE FUNDAMENTALS OF THOUGHT 

By L. RON HUBBARD 



- 

Just send $1.00 for this exciting new book by 
L. Ron Hubbard. 



It will be shipped to you immediately postage 



free. 



DIANETICS AND SCIENTOLOGY 

Box 242, Silver Spring, Maryland, U. S. A. 



38 



GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION 



the language of love 



By ROBERT SHECKLEY 



Toms was absolutely correct — 
why shouldn't a lover be able 
to whisper semantlcally exact 
somethings into a girl's ear? 




EFFERSON TOMS went 
into an auto-cafe one after- 
noon after classes, to drink 
coffee and study. He sat down, 
philosophy texts piled neatly be- 
fore him, and saw a girl directing 
the robot waiters. She had smoky- 
gray eyes and hair the color of a 
rocket exhaust. Her figure was 
slight but sweetly curved and, 
gazing at it, Toms felt a lump in 
his throat and a sudden recollec- 
tion of autumn, evening, rain and 
candlelight. 

This was how love came to Jef- 
ferson Toms. Although he was 
ordinarily a very reserved young 
man, he complained about the ro- 
bot service in order to meet her. 
When they did meet, he was in- 
articulate, overwhelmed by feel- 



ing. Somehow, though, he man- 
aged to ask her for a date. 

The girl, whose name was 
Doris, was strangely moved by 
the stocky, black-haired young 
student, for she accepted at once. 
And then Jefferson Toms' trou- 
bles began. 

He found love delightful, yet 
extremely disturbing, in spite of 
his advanced studies in philoso- 
phy. But love was a confusing 
thing even in Toms' age, when 
spaceliners bridged the gaps be- 
tween the worlds, disease lay 
dead, war was inconceivable, and 
just about anything of any impor- 
tance had been solved in an ex- 
emplary manner. 

Old Earth was in better shape 
than ever before. Her cities were 



Illustrated by GAUGHAN 



THE LANGUAGE OF LOVE 



39 



bright with plastic and stainless 
steel. Her remaining forests were 
carefully tended bits of greenery 
where one might picnic in perfect 
safety, since all beasts and insects 
had been removed to sanitary 
zoos which reproduced their liv- 
ing conditions with admirable 
skill. 

Even the climate of Earth had 
been mastered. Farmers received 
their quota of rain between three 
and three-thirty in the morning, 
people gathered at stadiums to 
watch a program of sunsets, and 
a tornado was produced once a 
year in a special arena as part of 
the World Peace Day Celebra- 
tion. 

But love was as confusing as 
ever and Toms found this dis- 
tressing. 

He simply could not put his 
feelings into words. Such expres- 
sions as "I love you," "I adore 
you," "I'm crazy about you" were 
overworked and inadequate. They 
conveyed nothing of the depth 
and fervor of his emotions. In- 
deed they cheapened them, since 
every stereo, every second-rate 
play was filled with similar 
words. People used them in cas- 
ual conversation and spoke of 
how much they loved pork chops, 
adored sunsets, were crazy about 
tennis. 

Every fiber of Toms' being re- 
volted against this. Never, he 
swore, would he speak of his love 



in terms used for pork chops. But 
he found, to his dismay, that he 
had nothing better to say. 



TIE BROUGHT the problem 
-*--*■ to his philosophy professor. 

"Mr. Toms," the professor said, 
gesturing wearily with his glasses, 
"ah — love, as it is commonly 
called, is not an operational area 
with us as yet. No significant 
work has been done in this field, 
aside from the so-called Lan- 
guage of Love of the Tyanian 
race." 

This was no help. Toms con- 
tinued to muse on love and think 
lengthily of Doris. In the long 
haunted evenings on her porch, 
when the shadows from the trellis 
vines crossed her face, revealing 
and concealing it, Toms struggled 
to tell her what he felt. And since 
he could not bring himself to use 
the weary commonplaces of love, 
he tried to express himself in ex- 
travagances. - 

"I feel about you," he would 
say, "the way a star feels about 
its planet." 

"How immense!" she would an- 
swer, immensely flattered at be- 
ing compared to anything so 
cosmic. 

"That's not what I meant," 
Toms amended. "The feeling I 
was trying to express was more — 
well, for example, when you walk, 
I am reminded of—" 

"Of a what?" 



40 



GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION 



"A doe in a forest glade," Toms 
said, frowning. 

"How charming!" 

"It wasn't intended to be 
charming. I was trying to express 
the awkwardness inherent in 
youth and yet — " 

"But, honey," she said, "I'm not 
awkward. My dancing teacher — " 

"I didn't mean awkward. But 
the essence of awkwardness is — 



is 



» 



"I understand," she said. 

But Toms knew she didn't. 

So he was forced to give up 
extravagances. Soon he found 
himself unable to say anything of 
any importance to Doris, for it 
was not what he meant, nor even 
close to it. 

The girl became concerned at 
the long, moody silences which 
developed between them. 

"Jeff," she would urge, "surely 
you can say something!" 

Toms shrugged his shoulders. 

"Even if it isn't absolutely 
what you mean." 

Toms sighed. 

"Please," she cried, "say any- 
thing at all! I can't stand this!" 

"Oh, hell -" 

"Yes?" she breathed, her face 
transfigured. 

"That wasn't what I meant," 
Toms said, relapsing into his 
gloomy silence. 

At last he asked her to marry 
him. He was willing to admit that 
he "loved" her — but he refused 



to expand on it. He explained 
that a marriage must be founded 
upon truth or it is doomed from 
the start. If he cheapened and 
falsified his emotions at the be- 
ginning, what could the future 
hold for them? 

Doris found his sentiments ad- 
mirable, but refused to marry 
him. 

"You must tell a girl that you 
love her," she declared. "You have 
to tell her a hundred times a day, 
Jefferson, and even then it's not 
enough." 

"But I do love you!" Toms pro- 
tested. "I mean to say I have an 
emotion corresponding to- 

"Oh, stop it!" 

In this predicament, Toms 
thought about the Language of 
Love and went to his professor's 
office to ask about it. 



» 



ff W^ E ARE told," his profes- 
** sor said, "that the race in- 
digenous to Tyana II had a spe- 
cific and unique language for the 
expression of sensations of love. 
To say 'I love you' was unthink- 
able for Tyanians. They would 
use a phrase denoting the exact 
kind and class of love they felt at 
that specific moment, and used 
for no other purpose." 

Toms nodded, and the profes- 
sor continued. "Of course, devel- 
oped with this Language was, 
necessarily, a technique of love- 
making quite incredible in its per- 



THE LANGUAGE OF LOVE 



41 



fection. We are told that it made 
all ordinary techniques seem like 
the clumsy pawing of a grizzly in 
heat." The professor coughed in 
embarrassment. 

"It is precisely what I need!" 
Toms exclaimed. 

"Ridiculous," said the profes- 
sor. "The technique might be in- 
teresting, but your own is doubt- 
less sufficient for most needs. And 
the Language, by its very nature, 
can be used with only one person. 
To learn it impresses me as 
wasted energy." 

"Labor for love," Toms said, "is 
the most worthwhile work in the 
world, since it produces a rich 
harvest of feeling." 

"I refuse to stand here and 
listen to bad epigrams. Mr. Toms, 
why all this fuss about love?" 

"It is the only perfect thing in 
this world," Toms answered fer- 
vently. "If one must learn a spe- 
cial language to appreciate it, one 
can do no less. Tell me, is it far to 
Tyana II?" 

"A considerable distance," his 
professor said, with a thin smile. 
"And an unrewarding one, since 
the race is extinct." 

"Extinct! But why? A sudden 
pestilence? An invasion?" 

"It is one of the mysteries of 
the Galaxy," his professor said 
somberly. 

"Then the Language is lost!" 
"Not quite. Twenty years ago, 
an Earthman named George Var- 



ris went to Tyana and learned 
the Language of Love from the 
last remnants of the race." The 
professor shrugged his shoulders. 
"I never considered it sufficiently 
important to read his scientific 
papers." 

Toms looked up Varris in the 
Interspatial Explorers Who's Who 
and found that he was credited 
with the discovery of Tyana, had 
wandered around the frontier 
planets for a time, but at last had 
returned to deserted Tyana, to 
devote his life to investigating 
every aspect of its culture. 

After learning this, Toms 
thought long and hard. The jour- 
ney to Tyana was a difficult one, 
time-consuming, and expensive. 

Perhaps Varris would be dead be- 
fore he got there, or unwilling to 
teach him the Language. Was it 
worth the gamble? 

"Is love worth it?" Toms asked 
himself, and knew the answer. 

So he sold his ultra-n, his mem- 
ory recorder, his philosophy texts, 
and several stocks his grand- 
father had left him, and booked 
passage to Cranthis IV, which 
was the closest he could come to 
Tyana on a scheduled spaceway. 
And after all his preparations had 
been made, he went to Doris. 

"When I return," he said, "I 
will be able to tell you exactly 
how much — I mean the particu- 
lar quality and class of — I mean, 
Doris, when I have mastered the 



42 



GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION 



Tyanian Technique, you will be 
loved as no woman has ever been 
loved!" 

"Do you mean that?" she 
asked, her eyes glowing. 

"Well," Toms said, "the term 
'loved' doesn't quite express it. 
But I mean something very much 
like it." 

"I will wait for you, Jeff," she 
said. "But — please don't be too 
long." 

Jefferson Toms nodded, blinked 
back his tears, clutched Doris in- 
articulately, and hurried to the 
spaceport. 

Within the hour, he was on his 
way. 



I^OUR months later, after con- 

*- siderable difficulties, Toms 
stood on Tyana, on the outskirts 
of the capital city. Slowly he 
walked down the broad, deserted 
main thoroughfare. On either side 
of him, noble buildings soared to 
dizzy heights. Peering inside one, 
Toms saw complex machinery 
and gleaming switchboards. With 
his pocket Ty ana-English diction- 
ary, he was able to translate the 
lettering above one of the build- 
ings. 

It read: counseling services 

FOR STAGE-FOUR LOVE PROBLEMS. 

Other buildings were much the 
same, filled with calculating ma- 
chinery, switchboards, ticker 
tapes, and the like. He passed 

THE INSTITUTE FOR RESEARCH 



INTO AFFECTION DELAY, stared at 

the two-hundred-story home for 

THE EMOTIONALLY RETARDED, and 

glanced at several others. Slowly 
the awesome, dazzling truth 
dawned upon him. 

Here was an entire city given 

over to the research and aid of 
love. 

He had no time for further 
speculation. In front of him was 
the gigantic general love serv- 
ices building. And out of its 
marble hallway stepped an old 
man. 

"Who the hell are you?" the 
old man asked. 

"I am Jefferson Toms, of Earth. 
I have come here to learn the 
Language of Love, Mr. Varris." 

Varris raised his shaggy white 
eyebrows. He was a small, wrin- 
kled old man, stoop-shouldered 
and shaky in the knees. But his 
eyes were alert and filled with a 
cold suspicion. 

"Perhaps you think the Lan- 
guage will make you more attrac- 
tive to women," Varris said. 
"Don't believe it, young man. 
Knowledge has its advantages, of 
course. But it has distinct draw- 
backs, as the Tyanians discov- 
ered." 

"What drawbacks?" Toms 

* 

asked. 

Varris grinned, displaying a 
single yellow tooth. "You wouldn't 
understand, if you don't already 
know. It takes knowledge to un- 



THE LANGUAGE OF LOVE 



43 



derstand the limitations of knowl- 
edge." 

"Nevertheless," Toms said, "I 
want to learn the Language." 

Varris stared at him thought- 
fully. "But it is not a simple thing, 
Toms. The Language of Love, 
and its resultant technique, is 
every bit as complex as brain 
surgery or the practice of corpo- 
ration law. It takes work, much 
work, and a talent as well." 

"I will do the work. And I'm 
sure I have the talent." 

"Most people think that," Var- 
ris said, "and most of them are 
mistaken. But never mind, never 
mind. It's been a long time since 
I've had any company. We'll see 
how you get on, Toms." 

Together they went into the 

General Services Building, which 
Varris called his home. They 
went to the Main Control Room, 
where the old man had put down 
a sleeping bag and set up a camp 

■ 

stove. There, in the shadow of the 
giant calculators, Toms' lessons 
began. 

- 

ARRIS was a thorough 
teacher. In the beginning, with 
the aid of a portable Semantic 
Differentiator, he taught Toms to 
isolate the delicate apprehension 
one feels in the presence of a to- 
be-loved person, to detect the 
subtle tensions that come into be- 
ing as the potentiality of love 
draws near. 



* 




These sensations, Toms learned, 
must never be spoken of directly, 
for frankness frightens love. They 
must be expressed in simile, 
metaphor and hyperbole, half- 
truths and white lies. With these, 
one creates an atmosphere and 
lays a foundation for love. And 
the mind, deceived by its own 
predisposition, thinks of booming 
surf and raging sea, mournful 
black rocks and fields of green 
corn. 

"Nice images," Toms said ad- 
miringly. 

"Those were samples," Varris 
told him. "Now you must learn 
them all." 

So Toms went to work memo- 
rizing great long lists of natural 
wonders, to what sensations they 
were comparable, and at what 
stage they appeared in the antici- 
pation of love. The Language was 

* i 

thorough in this regard. Every 
state or object in nature for 

- 

which there was a response in 
love-anticipation had been cata- 
logued, classified and listed with 
suitable modifying adjectives. 

When he had memorized the 
list, Varris drilled him in percep- 
tions of love. Toms learned the 

4 

small, strange things that make 
up a state of love. Some were so 
ridiculous that he had to laugh. 
The old man admonished him 
sternly. "Love is a serious busi- 
ness, Toms. You seem to find 
some humor in the fact that love 



44 



GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION 




THE LANGUAGE OF LOVE 



45 



engender, and he learned how to 
locate that sensitive area, no 
larger than a dime, which exists 
just below the right shoulder 
blade. 

He learned an entirely new 
system of caressing, which caused 
impulses to explode — and even 
implode — along the nerve paths 
and to shower colored sparks be- 
fore the eyes. 

He was also taught the social 
advantages of conspicuous desen- 
sitization. 

He learned many things about 
physical love which he had dimly 
suspected, and still more things 
which no one had suspected. 

It was intimidating knowledge. 
Toms had imagined himself to be 
at least an adequate lover. Now 
he found that he knew nothing, 
nothing at all, and that his best 
efforts had been comparable to 
the play of amorous hippopotami. 

"But what else could you ex- 
what that attachment really is pect?" Varris asked. "Good love- 



is frequently predisposed by wind 
speed and direction." 

"It seems foolish," Toms ad- 
mitted. 

"There are stranger things than 
that," Varris said, and mentioned 
another factor. 

Toms shuddered. "That I can't 
believe. It's preposterous. Every- 
one knows — " 

"If everyone knows how love 

■ 

operates, why hasn't someone re- 
duced it to a formula? Murky 
thinking, Toms, murky thinking 
is the answer, and an unwilling- 
ness to accept cold facts. If you 
cannot face them — " 

"I can face anything," Toms 
said, "if I have to. Let's con- 
tinue." 




S THE weeks passed, Toms 
learned the words which ex- 
press the first quickening of in- 
terest, shade by shade, until an 
attachment is formed. He learned 



and the three words that express 
it. This brought him to the rhet- 
oric of sensation, where the body 
becomes supreme. 

Here the Language was specific 
instead of allusive, and dealt with 
feelings produced by certain 
words, and above all, by certain 
physical actions. 

A startling little black machine 
taught Toms the thirty-eight sep- 
arate and distinct sensations 



making, Toms, calls for more 
study, more sheer intensive labor 
than any other acquired skill. Do 
you still wish to learn?" 

"Definitely!" Toms said. "Why, 
when I'm an expert on love-mak- 
ing, I'll - 1 can -" 

"That is no concern of mine," 
the old man stated. "Let's return 
to our lessons." 

Next, Toms learned the Cycles 
of Love. Love, he discovered, is 



which the touch of a hand can dynamic, constantly rising and 



46 



GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION 



falling, and doing so in definite 
patterns. There were fifty-two 
major patterns, three hundred 
and six minor patterns, four gen- 
eral exceptions, and nine specific 
exceptions. 

Toms learned them better than 
his own name. 

He acquired the uses of the 
Tertiary Touch. And he never 
forgot the day he was taught 
what a bosom really was like. 

"But I can't say that!" Toms 
objected, appalled. 

"It's true, isn't it?" Varris in- 
sisted. 

"No! I mean — yes, I suppose 
it is. But it's unflattering." 

"So it seems. But examine, 
Toms. Is it actually unflattering?" 

Toms examined and found the 
compliment that lies beneath the 
insult, and so he learned another 
facet of the Language of Love. 

Soon he was ready for the 
study of the Apparent Negations. 
He discovered that for every de- 
gree of love, there is a corre- 
sponding degree of hate, which is 
in itself a form of love. He came 
to understand how valuable hate 
is, how it gives substance and 
body to love, and how even indif- 
ference and loathing have their 
place in the nature of love. 



\f ARRIS gave him a ten-hour 
* written examination, which 
Toms passed with superla- 
tive marks. He was eager to fin- 



ish, but Varris noticed that a 

slight tic had developed in his 
student's left eye and that his 
hands had a tendency to shake. 

"You need a vacation," the old 
man informed him. 

Toms had been thinking this 
himself. "You may be right," he 
said, with barely concealed eager- 
ness. "Suppose I go to Cythera V 
for a few weeks." 

Varris, who knew Cythera's 
reputation, smiled cynically. "Ea- 
ger to try out your new knowl- 
edge?" 

"Well, why not? Knowledge is 
to be used." 

"Only after it's mastered." 

"But I have mastered it! 
Couldn't we call this field work? 
A thesis, perhaps?" 

"No thesis is necessary," Varris 
said. 

"But damn it all," Toms ex- 
ploded, "I should do a little ex- 
perimentation! I should find out 
for myself how all this works. 
Especially Approach 33-CV. It 
sounds fine in theory, but I've 
been wondering how it works out 
in actual practice. There's noth- 
ing like direct experience, you 
know, to reinforce — " 

"Did you journey all this way 
to become a super-seducer?" Var- 
ris asked, with evident disgust. 

"Of course not," Toms said. 
"But a little experimentation 
wouldn't -" 

"Your knowledge of the me- 



THE LANGUAGE OF LOVE 



47 



chanics of sensation would be 
barren, unless you understand 
love, as well. You have progressed 
too far to be satisfied with mere 
thrills." 

Toms, searching his heart, 
knew this to be true. But he set 



"It is the least human spot I've 
found in this humdrum corner of 
the Galaxy," Varris explained. 
"And believe me, Fve done some 
looking." 

Toms stared at him, wondering 
if the old man was out of his 



his jaw stubbornly. "I'd like to mind. But soon he understood 



/ 



find out that for myself, too." 

"You may go," Varris said, "but 
don't come back. No one will ac- 
cuse me of loosing a callous sci- 
entific seducer upon the Galaxy." 

"Oh, all right. To hell with it. 
Let's get back to work." 

"No. Look at yourself! A little 
more unrelieved studying, young 
man, and you will lose the capac- 
ity to make love. And wouldn't 
that be a sorry state of affairs?" 

Toms agreed that it would cer- 
tainly be. 

"I know the perfect spot," Var- 
ris told him, "for relaxation from 
the study of love." 




HEY entered the old man's 
spaceship and journeyed five 
days to a small unnamed planet- 
oid. When they landed, the old 
man took Toms to the bank of a 
swift flowing river, where the 
water ran fiery red, with green 
diamonds of foam. The trees that 
grew on the banks of that river 
were stunted and strange, and 
colored vermilion. Even the grass 
was unlike grass, for it was 
orange and blue. 

"How alien!" gasped Toms. 



what Varris meant. 

For months, he had been study- 
ing human reactions and human 
feelings, and surrounding it all 
was the now suffocating feeling of 
soft human flesh. He had im- 
mersed himself in humanity, stud- 
ied it, bathed in it, eaten and 
drunk and dreamed it. It was a 
relief to be here, where the water 
ran red and the trees were stunted 
and strange and vermilion, and 

the grass was orange and blue, 

and there was no reminder of 
Earth. 

Toms and Varris separated, for 
even each other's humanity was 
a nuisance. Toms spent his days 
wandering along the river edge, 
marveling at the flowers which 
moaned when he came near them. 
At night, three wrinkled moons 
played tag with each other, and 
the morning sun was different 
from the yellow sun of Earth. 

At the end of a week, refreshed 
and renewed, Toms and Varris re- 
turned to G'cel, the Tyanian city 
dedicated to the study of love. 

Toms was taught the five hun- 
dred and six shades of Love 
Proper, from the first faint possi- 



48 



GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION 




AT THE end of the long trip, 
Jefferson Toms hurried to 
Doris' home. Perspiration beaded 
his forehead and his hands were 
shaking. He was able to classify 
the feeling as Stage Two Antici- 
patory Tremors, with mild maso- 
chistic overtones. But that didn't 

help— this was his first field work 
and he was nervous. Had he mas- 
tered everything? 

He rang the bell. 

She opened the door and Toms 

saw that she was more beautiful 

tensify them until they become than he had remembered, her 



bility to the ultimate 
which is so powerful that only 
five men and one woman have 
experienced it, and the strongest 
of them survived less than an 

■ 

hour. 

Under the tutelage of a bank 
of small, interrelated calculators, 
he studied the intensification of 

love. 

He learned all of the thousand 
different sensations of which the 
human body is capable, and how 
to augment them, and how to in- 



unbearable, and how to make the 
unbearable bearable, and finally 



eyes smoky-gray and misted with 
tears, her hair the color of a 



pleasurable, at which point the rocket exhaust, her figure slight 



organism is not far from death. 

After that, he was taught some 
things which have never been put 
into words and, with luck, never 
will. 

"And that," Varris said one 
day, "is everything." 

"Everything?" 

"Yes, Toms. The heart has no 
secrets from you. Nor, for that 
matter, has the soul, or mind, or 
the viscera. You have mastered 
the Language of Love. Now re- 
turn to your young lady." 

"I will!" cried Toms. "At last 
she will know!" 

"Drop me a postcard," Varris 
said. "Let me know how you're 
getting on." 

"I'll do that," Toms promised. 



but sweetly curved. He felt again 
the lump in his throat and sud- 
den memories of autumn, eve- 
ning, rain and candlelight. 

"I'm back," he croaked. 

"Oh, Jeff," she said, very softly. 
"Oh, Jeff." 

Toms simply stared, unable to 
say a word. 

"It's been so long, Jeff, and I 
kept wondering if it was all worth 
it. Now I know." 

"You - know?" 

r 

"Yes, my darling! I waited for 
you! I'd wait a hundred years, or 
a thousand! I love you, Jeff!" 

She was in his arms. 

"Now tell me, Jeff," she said. 
"Tell me!" 

And Toms looked at her, and 



Fervently he shook his teacher's felt, and sensed, searched his clas- 



hand and departed for Earth. 



sifications, selected his modifiers, 



THE LA 



E OF I 



E 



49 



checked and double-checked. And 
after much searching, and careful 
selection, and absolute certainty, 
and allowing for his present state 
of mind, and not forgetting to 
take into account climatic condi- 
tions, phases of the Moon, wind 
speed and direction, Sun spots, 
and other phenomena which have 
their due effect upon love, he 
said: 

"My dear, I am rather fond of 






you 



»> 



"Jeff! Surely you can say more 
than that! The Language of 
Love -" 

"The Language is damnably 
precise," Toms said wretchedly. 
"I'm sorry, but the phrase 'I am 
rather fond of you' expresses pre- 
cisely what I feel." 

"Oh, Jeff!" 

"Yes," he mumbled. 

"Oh, damn you, Jeff!" 

HP HERE was, of course, a pain- 
-*- ful scene and a very painful 
separation. Toms took to travel- 
ing. 

He held jobs here and there, 
working as a riveter at Saturn- 
Lockheed, a wiper on the Helg- 
Vinosce Trader, a farmer for a 
while on a kibbutz on Israel IV. 
He bummed around the Inner 
Dalmian System for several years, 
living mostly on handouts. Then, 
at Novilocessile, he met a pleas- 
ant, brown-haired girl, courted 
her and, in due course, married 



her and set up housekeeping. 

Their friends say that the 
Tomses are tolerably happy, al- 
though their home makes most 
people uncomfortable. It is a 
pleasant enough place, but the 
rushing red river nearby makes 
people edgy. And who can get 
used to vermilion trees, and 
orange-and-blue grass, and moan- 
ing flowers, and three wrinkled 
moons playing tag in the alien 
sky? 

Toms likes it, though, and Mrs. 
Toms is, if nothing else, a flexible 
young lady. 

Toms wrote a letter to his 
philosophy professor on Earth, 
saying that he had solved the 
problem of the demise of the 
Tyanian race, at least to his own 
satisfaction. The trouble with 
scholarly research, he wrote, is 
the inhibiting effect it has upon 
action. The Tyanians, he was 
convinced, had been so preoccu- 
pied with the science of love, 
after a while they just didn't get 
around to making any. 

And eventually he sent a short 
postcard to George Varris. He 
simply said that he was married, 
having succeeded in finding a girl 
for whom he felt "quite a substan- 
tial liking." 

"Lucky devil," Varris growled, 
after reading the card. "'Vaguely 
enjoyable' was the best I could 
ever find." 

ROBERT SIIECKLEY 



50 



GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION 



::^^^U^ki : ^^i^L^ 





aamvmm 




3«TC*^ 



► . r* * * • * 9 






WHO'LL OWN 
THE PLANETS? 

F CUSTOMS and attitudes 
had not changed during the 
last few centuries, this is what 
would happen on the day after a 

ship lands on Mars: 

— If the name of the ship were 
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra 
and that of the captain Don Fran- 



FOR YOUR INFORMATION 



51 



cisco de Quintana y Molino, there 
would be a procession with ban- 
ners of the cross around the land- 
ing site, two masses would be 
said, and in conclusion of the 
ceremony, a cross would be 
erected . . . 

— If the name of the ship were 
Dom Henrique and the name of 
the captain Joao Dias, there 
would be the erection of a cross, 
a mass would be said and, in con- 
clusion, a monument with a coat 

of arms would be placed . . . 

— If the name of the ship were 
Ilya Murometz and that of the 
captain Vladimir Ossipovitch 
Kosmodemyanski, there would be 
a religious ceremony culminating 
in the ceremonial burying of cop- 
per shields with a coat of arms . . . 

— If the name of the ship were 
Queen Elizabeth and that of the 
captain Sir Cecil Hawkins, there 
would be a brisk service and the 
captain would perform the "turf 
and sprig" ceremony, taking a 
handful of soil and any small 
plant in reach to take home with 
him. Then the British flag would 
be hoisted . . . 

— And if the name of the ship 
were Siegfried, commanded by 
Captain Wolfgang von Greiffen- 
klau, there would be an even 
brisker service t Then everybody 
would stand at attention while 
the German flag is being hoisted. 
Possibly the captain would stick 
his dress saber into the ground, 



or else (another tradition) pierce 
his own cap with it. 

I don't know what would hap- 
pen if the ship were named the 
Robert H. Goddard and the cap- 
tain F. Warren Smith, for all the 
customs mentioned had gone out 
of use at the time the thirteen 
states decided to be independent. 
But these were the actual cus- 
toms for taking possession of an 
island or a coast. 

Needless to say, none of these 
ceremonies would carry any legal 
validity nowadays and the Inter- 
national Court at The Hague 
wouldn't pay the slightest atten- 
tion to even the most elaborate 
ceremony if the participants 
therein pack up and blast off for 
home at a later date. 



f T 1 HE law. . . . Now just a mo- 
■■■ ment. There is no space law 
yet, is there? The answer to that 
question is a clear "no" if you 
mean "legislation" when you say 
"law." As Rear Admiral Chester 

Ward said in a lecture on space 
law during the eleventh annual 
meeting of the American Rocket 
Society in November, 1956: "It is 
a fundamental principle of law- 
making that you can't legislate 
without facts. That principle ap- 
plies just as well to the law of 
space as it does to the law that 
governs our actions here on the 
surface of the earth." 

Since there are no "facts" yet 



52 



GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION 



— that is to say, no spaceships 
with known performance charac- 
teristics and, by implication, per- 
formance restrictions — there can 
be no legislation. 

But just because there are no 
such "facts" yet, the term "law" 
may be employed to mean what 
would otherwise be called a legal 
principle or a legal attitude. And 
that certainly exists. I have lis- 
tened to about half a dozen lec- 
tures on the foundations and prin- 
ciples of space law during the last 
half dozen years — they were not 
evenly spaced, though — and 
found enough agreement between 
the various experts to make a 
resume possible. 

The earliest dissertation on 
space law saw print in 1932. Its 
title was just that: "The Law of 
Space," but in German Das Welt- 
raum-Recht and it was written by 
a Dr. Vladimir Mandl, who was 
then a practicing lawyer in Pil- 
sen, Czechoslovakia. I freely ad- 
mit that I hadn't looked at it 
since 1932 when Dr. Mandl sent 
me a copy and I have just read 
it to see what he had to say then. 

Well, the net yield was tiny, for 
Dr. Mandl devoted most of his 
small book to investigating such 
legal problems as liability for ac- 
cidental damage, etc., etc., and all 
that with special reference to Ger- 
man law. But he did say that 
space outside the atmosphere 
should be regarded as an area 



without existing or possible sov- 
ereignty, a point on which all 
later legal writers fully agreed. 

The idea is very simply that 
open space is compared to the 
open sea. That no nation has, or 
can have, sovereignty over the 
open sea is a legal principle that 
has been firmly established for 
centuries. 



T¥7E tend to think this is so ob- 
™ vious that it need not be 
mentioned, but there was a time 
—best nailed down as the time in 
which Columbus lived — when 
countries and even cities claimed 
ownership and sovereignty over 
oceans. 

The Republic of Venice said it 
owned the Adriatic Sea. The city 
of Genoa countered this by own- 
ing the Ligurian Sea. Portugal 
claimed the Indian Ocean and 
the South Atlantic as hers, while 
Spain was content to own the 
Pacific Ocean (and the Gulf of 
Mexico). And the only reason 
that the Hanseatic League never 
said it owned the North Sea and 
the Baltic was that England, Nor- 
way and Denmark would have 
put in claims for the North Sea, 
too, and Denmark, Sweden and 
the countries of the eastern Baltic 
might have had strong opinions 
about the sole proprietorship of 
the Baltic. 

Crowding sometimes has useful 

* 

aspects. 



FOR YOUR INFORMATION 



53 



A RGUMENT that the high 
■**- seas should be free for the 
lawful use of all was first pre- 
sented by the Dutch jurist Gro- 
tius, who is universally recognized 
as the "Father of International 
Law." But the fact that no na- 
tion, or organization of countries 
like the United Nations, has sov- 
ereignty over the high seas cer- 
tainly does not make every ocean 
a lawless place. It developed its 
own law, based on practices 
which navigators found either 
efficient or convenient, and which 
were later formulated. 

The statement that the laws 
which govern the sea should be 
extended to apply to interplane- 
tary space was voiced — for the 
first time, as far as I know — by 
Oscar Schachter, deputy director 
of the Legal Department of the 
United Nations, on the occasion 
of the First Space Travel Sympo- 
sium at the Hayden Planetarium 
in New York City in October, 
1951 —appropriately enough, on 
Columbus Day. 

But in order to gain the open 
sea, you have to traverse coastal 
waters, and in order to gain open 
space, you have to traverse the 
atmosphere. As regards coastal 
waters, the legal situation is clear; 
the problems were thrashed out 
and settled a century ago. The 
first three miles of ocean are con- 
sidered to be under the sover- 
eignty of the country which 



exercises sovereignty over the 
shoreline. 

It has often been said that this 
figure of three miles was accepted 
because that used to be the range 
of the old coastal batteries. This 
sounded like a logical and con- 
vincing reason. Unfortunately, 
one could draw the conclusion 
from it that things belong to you 
for as far as you can shoot. That 
kind of reasoning would lead to 
declaring that "might is right" 
even legally. 

Personally, I never quite be- 
lieved that the three-mile zone 
had been derived from the range 
of the coastal guns, because a 
three-mile range did not become 
possible until many years after 
the limit had been accepted. And 
recently I learned that "three 
miles" was just a more modern 
way of expressing an older meas- 
urement, namely, one marine 
league. 

There is something else about 
this three-mile zone which strikes 
me as either odd or significant — 
I don't know which. If what fol- 
lows should be just a coincidence, 
it is a rare one. 

There is a simplified formula 
which says you multiply the 
square root of h by 1.17 and you 
get D. The letter h stands for ele- 
vation above sea level and must 
be expressed in fact. The result D 
must be read in nautical miles 
and gives you the distance of the 



54 



GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION 



horizon at sea. If you take h to 
be six feet, the result is three 
miles (not nautical miles). 

In other words, the three-mile 
limit coincides with the actual 
distance of the horizon for a man 
standing at the seashore. Remem- 
ber that his feet will not be at ac- 
tual sea level but a few inches 
above it. The refraction in the 
atmosphere is included in that 
conversion factor of 1.17. 



HPO RETURN to the legal as- 
-*• pects: most countries have 
accepted the three-mile limit and 
the United States recognizes no 
other, although there are a few 
countries which, for their own 
purposes (such as prosecution of 
smuggling), claim sovereignty 
over a longer distance, usually 
ten kilometers. 

But while the countries "own" 
that much of the ocean, their 
ownership is not absolutely exclu- 
sive. There are exceptions. If a 
vessel, in order to pass from one 
tract of open sea to another one, 
has to navigate through sovereign 
waters, it can do so — it has the 
right of "innocent passage." 
(Whether naval vessels, in time 
of peace, have the right of inno- 
cent passage is disputed, but in 
time of peace, this problem is 
usually circumvented by prior 
agreement.) 



til 



When lawyers say "innocent 
passage," they usually mean 



freighters and passenger liners, 
but it also applies to rescue mis- 
sions or scientific expeditions. 

Now we come to the main dif- 
ficulty. It would be nice if one 
could reason that, since space is 
analogous to the open sea, the 
atmosphere is analogous to the 
three-mile zone, with the right of 
innocent passage for all. If we 
had had peace ever since the in- 
vention of the airplane, one prob- 
ably would reason that way. But 
there are two complications, each 
one major. 

The first is the very obvious 
right of self-defense, and there are 
more military aircraft than pas- 
senger liners and air freighters. 

The second is that no figure has 
so far been universally accepted 
as the limit of the atmosphere. 

When you ask a scientist what 
seems to be a simple question, 
"How deep is the atmosphere?" 
he will look somewhat unhappy, 
draw a deep breath, stall by light- 
ing a pipe, cigar or cigarette and 
say: "What characteristics do you 
have in mind?" The problem is 
that you still get some effects, 
like the reflection of short radio 
waves, several hundred miles up. 
On the other hand, it seems un- 
likely that you'll find noticeable 
air resistance, even at speeds of 
several miles per second, above 
perhaps 120 miles. 

About two years ago, in a dis- 
cussion of this difficulty, a law 



FOR YOUR INFORMATION 



55 



expert said that the legal limit 
might be determined by the 
height at which one can actually 
fly. Unfortunately I could not 
help him there. Jets and other 
air-breathing engines won't be 
able to go higher than, say, 70,000 
feet. 

But a large plastic balloon can 
go to 125,000 feet and a rocket- 
propelled plane still higher. 
Whether these "fly" or not is 
purely a question of definition. Is 
"flying" just moving through a 
space which still contains a little 
atmosphere, or is the term re- 
stricted to those altitudes where 
you still obtain some aerody- 
namic "lift"? 

This, too, remains to be decided. 



OUR next step in disentangling 
the legal problem is obvi- 
ously to find out what is the 
"law" in the air, the air in which 
we are now flying if we want to 
get from one city to another in 
comfort and with dispatch. Here 
the situation is sad, partly be- 
cause of past experiences, partly 
because of old aspects. 

The Romans held that the 
landowner also owned the air 
above it "to the sky." This idea 
was perpetuated in English com- 
mon law, which said (still in 
Latin ) : Cujus est solum ejus est 
usque ad coelum, which later was 
expressed in English as: "He who 
owns the soil, or surface of the 



ground, owns, or has an exclusive 
right to, everything which is upon 
or above it to an indefinite 
height." (I don't know what prac- 
tical importance that had, except 
when it came to the ownership of 
a bird shot on the wing. ) 

This personal and private own- 
ership of the air and the sky 
above it was granted by the sov- 
ereign and "could be asserted 
only against other private citi- 
zens; the sovereign never parted 
with its paramount right to con- 
trol the space above its territory." 
(Quotation from Andrew G. 
Haley's lecture Basic Concepts of 
Space Law, presented at the An- 
nual Meeting of the American 
Rocket Society in Chicago in 
November, 1955; published in the 
society's journal Jet Propulsion, 
November issue, 1956.) In short, 
the attitude was the same as with 
the oceans. 

As long as there was no human 
flight at all, or, at a later date* 
merely an occasional balloon, 
there was no legislation about the 
air. Lawyers say: Minima non 
curat praetor, which one may 
translate as: "Minor matters do 

* 

not concern legislators." Not only 
was there no legislation, there was 
not even any theoretical reason- 
ing. 

The invention of the airplane 
changed this; in fact, one man 
was actually ahead of events. In 
1902, at a meeting of the Insti- 



56 



GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION 



tute of International Law, an ex- 
pert named Paul Fauchille sub- 
mitted a draft of a proposed 
convention on the regulation of 
aerial navigation. According to 
Haley, this draft was approved in 
a modified form in 1906. 

Said Haley: "The convention 
would have made the air free to 
commerce and travel, just as the 
sea. The provision for national 
security measures, while vague 
and indeterminate, was a reason- 
able reservation of sovereign 
rights to protect against civil neg- 
ligence or hostile action through 
the air, but it was not intended 
that any nation should usurp the 
air completely. The proposal was 
never implemented in an interna- 
tional convention." 

I presume that it was still a 
case of minima non curat praetor 
with the few airships and planes 
which were around. At any event, 
nobody thought of prosecuting 
Bleriot when he flew the English 
Channel and, so to speak, violated 
English air space. 




UT then the First World War 
came and it was one of the 
neutrals (generally a peaceful 
country in recent centuries) 
which had to defend vigorously 
the idea of sovereignty over its 
air space. This was Holland, ly- 
ing as it does directly on the air 
route between England and Ger- 
many. 



Of course there were violations. 
A couple of German zeppelin air- 
ships drifted off course in foggy 
weather (zeppelin ships, as a mat- 
ter of principle, hid in drifting 
clouds to avoid being spotted, a 
method that may protect you but 
does not improve your naviga- 
tion) and partly disabled sea- 
planes had to land in Dutch 
waters. 

Right after the First World 
War, in October, 1919, the Paris 
Convention for the Regulation of 
Air Navigation was signed and 
"freedom of the air" was com- 
pletely ruined in the very first ar- 
ticle of this convention: Les 
Hautes Parties Contract antes re- 
connaissent, que chaque Puissance 
a la souverainete complete et ex- 
clusive sur Yespace atmosphe- 
rique au-dessus de son territoire; 
"The High Contracting Parties 
recognize that every Power has 
complete and exclusive sovereign- 
ty over the air space above its 
territory." 

Note the "complete and exclu- 
sive," and, of course, this included 
sovereignty over the three miles 
of ocean offshore. In practice, this 
complete and exclusive sovereign- 
ty was somewhat limited by rules 
of conduct. 

The rules established, on the 
one hand, the right of innocent 
passage for non-military aircraft, 
and, on the other hand, the right 
to set up "prohibited zones" which 



FOR YOUR INFORMATION 



57 



could not be flown over. But — 

and this turned out to be the 
worst feature in the long run — 
these rights applied only to those 
countries that signed the conven- 
tion. Nations which were signato- 
ries had the right to make sepa- 
rate agreements with nations 
which were not, but in reality 
they mostly refused to make such 
agreements and spent their energy 
in keeping the non-signatories out. 

As for the United States, its 
representatives signed the' con- 
vention with the provision that 
American aircraft could fly over 
American "prohibited zones." But 
the Senate did not ratify the con- 
vention, so the United States 
ceased to be a signatory. How- 
ever, we observed the rules just 
the same and finally made a gen- 
eral Western Hemisphere right- 
of-innocent-passage agreement. 

There was a welter of addi- 
tional conferences dealing with all 
kinds of side issues — such as 
cases of infectious disease discov- 
ered on an international flight — 
and then the Second World War 
came. Again each nation, and 
most especially the neutrals, had 
to assert all their rights vigor- 
ously. 

« 

TV" EAR the end of the war, an- 
■*- ^ other important convention 
on civil aviation took place, this 
time in Chicago. It ended in De- 
cember, 1944, but again the main 



"air" 



article read the same, almost 
word for word, as the first article 
of the Paris convention. Some- 
thing new had been added, how- 
ever: "No aircraft capable of be- 
ing flown without a pilot shall be 
flown without a pilot over the 
territory of a contracting state 
without special authorization by 
that state." This was the first rec- 
ognition of the existence of 
guided missiles. 

The possibilities and capabili- 
ties of aerial warfare being what 
they are, it is both natural and 
logical that every nation insist on 
absolute sovereignty over its "air 
space." The real trouble is that 
there is no definition of what is 

in the term "air space." 
Since there is no natural upper 

limit to the height at which "air- 
craft capable of being flown with- 
out a pilot" (read: missiles) can 
fly, one might argue that there is no 

upper limit to the "air space." In 
the light of astronomical facts, 
this argument is plain nonsense. 

As C. Wilfried Jenks of the In- 
ternational Labor Office in Ge- 
neva wrote in the International 
and Comparative Law Quarterly 
(January, 1956): 

"Any projection of territorial 
sovereignty into space beyond the 
atmosphere would be inconsistent 
with the basic astronomical facts. 
The rotation of the earth on its 
own axis, its revolution around 
the sun, and the motions of the 



58 



GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION 



/ 



sun and the planets through the 
galaxy all require that the rela- 
tionship of particular sovereign- 
ties on the surface of the earth to 
space beyond the atmosphere is 
never constant for the smallest 
conceivable fraction of time. Such 
a projection into space of sover- 
eignties based on particular areas 
of the earth's surface would give 
us a series of adjacent irregularly 
shaped cones with a constantly 
changing content. Celestial bodies 
would move -in and out of these 
cones all the time. In these cir- 
cumstances, the concept of a 
space cone of sovereignty is a 
meaningless and dangerous ab- 
straction/' 

Admiral Ward, in his recent 
lecture, after saying in different 
words what I just quoted from 
Jenks, could indicate a way out: 

"Professor Cooper, and other 
distinguished authorities, have 
pointed out that our development 
of a law of outer space is not re- 
stricted by our present agree- 
ments affirming each nation's sov- 
ereignty over the air, or the 'air 
space,' above it. These agree- 
ments relate strictly to the 'air 
space.' They apply only as far as 
the upper limits of the region in 
which air is sufficiently dense to 
support the flight of conventional 
aircraft — that is, those aircraft 
supported through reaction with 
the air. We are therefore free to 
develop a law of outer space, to 



apply in areas above this region 
of relatively dense air, without re- 
striction from our existing agree- 
ments relating to 'air space.' The 
lawmakers wait only for the phys- 
ical facts of space to be supplied 
by the explorers, the scientists, 
the mathematicians and the phys- 
icists. With the physical facts in 
hand, we can attempt to set the 
upper limits of national sover- 
eignty." 

Admiral Ward went on to state 
that such an upper limit of sover- 
eignty would not hamper national 
defense. The three-mile limit also 
does not hamper our naval opera- 
tions and other defense measures 
at sea. 




ET us say now that agree- 
ments have been reached, 
signed and ratified which set the 

■ 

upper limit of the "air space" at 
50 kilometers, which is almost 
precisely 31 miles. Then we 
would get the following picture: 

Up to a height of 3 1 miles, each 
nation has the "complete and ex- 
clusive sovereignty" first accepted 
in the Paris convention. Above 
that, there would be a zone with 
the right of innocent passage. For 
scientific reasons, this zone should 
not be lumped with "open space," 
because some physical phenome- 
na due to a highly attenuated 
atmosphere can still be observed. 

Open space may then be said 
to begin at a height of 250 kilo- 



FOR YOUR INFORMATION 



59 



meters or 155 miles (I am put- 
ting kilometers first because, by 
Act of Congress, the customary- 
American standard measurements 
are defined in terms of metric 
measurements), so that there are 
three legal zones. 

The bottom zone, with its com- 
plete and exclusive sovereignty, 
would not compare to the three- 
mile zone but rather to rivers and 
inland lakes. The next zone, from 
50 to 250 kilometers, would be 
comparable to the three-mile 
zone. And space above 250 kilo- 
meters would be comparable 
(better: analogpus) to the high 

S63S. 

But there is still an amusing 
wrinkle— these three zones would 
logically be in existence only 
above land. They would not exist 
for three-quarters of the Earth's 
surface, for over the high seas, 
the freedom of the seas would ex- 
tend into space with no legal zone 
in between. Or else you may say 
that the freedom of space would 
end where your ship gets wet 
with salt water. Then you are in 
the free and open seas. 

Legal discussions may be inter- 
esting, but how does all this ap- 
ply to the coming satellite shots? 
By an interesting combination of 
natural facts, these satellite shots 
happen to be about as "legal* as 
they can possibly be. 

The Vanguard rockets, the sat- 
ellite carriers, will be fired from 



Patrick Air Force Base in Flor- 
ida. American-made, they take 
off from American soil and, for a 
time to be measured in seconds, 
they will be in American air space 
above American waters. When 
they leave American air space, 
they are in the free air over the 
free ocean. By the time land is 
below again (the southern part of 
Africa), they have passed out of 
any air space and are in free 
space. 

Of course, they are legal in an- 
other sense, too. They are part of 
the International Geophysical 
Year. Some sixty nations have not 
only not voiced any objections, 
but have promised support and 
assistance in observing the satel- 
lites. So that's that. 



TVTOW how about that ship that 
-*- ^ lands on Mars and its cap- 
tain who takes possession with 
or without ceremonies? In the 
first place, it is possible — even 
probable — that an agreement 
might be reached in the mean- 
time that all "land" beyond the 
earth will be under the jurisdic- 
tion of the United Nations, unless 
inhabited by indigenous intelli- 
gent and reasoning beings. (In 
the latter case, naturally, they 
would have sovereignty.) All 
rights, including mining rights, if 
any, would take the form of con- 
cessions, leases or licenses from 
the United Nations. 



60 



GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION 



But suppose it is not a case of 
the United Nations — which really 
means nations acting together in- 
stead of separately — but still a 
case of separate nations, gener- 
ally at peace. There are some in- 
teresting analogies in the past and 
I'll quote Bouvet Island as an 
example. It is a small island, situ- 
ated several hundred nautical 
miles to the SSW of the southern 
tip of Africa. The island itself is 
roughly circular, with a diameter 
of about five miles measured east 
to west and about half a mile less 
measured north to south. It is es- 
sentially just one large dead vol- 
cano, completely covered with 
glaciers. 

Bouvet Island was discovered 



land, sailed around it, and Cap- 
tain Norris took possession of it 
(from shipboard) for the United 
Kingdom in the name of King 
George IV. 

There followed another period 
of uncertainty whether the island 
existed at all, but in November, 
1898, the German oceanographic 
expedition with the steamer Val- 
divia found it again. The Ger- 
mans decided that landing would 
be very difficult and would not 
accomplish anything anyway, so 
they did their charting and map- 
ping from aboard their comfor- 
table steamer. And although they 
named the largest glacier they 
could see the Kaiser Wilhelm 



Glacier, they had no aspirations 
in 1739 by the French captain as to ownership. They were 

merely establishing the precise 
location and size of this British 



Lozier Bouvet. He thought it was 
just a northern cape of a much 
larger southern continent and 
named it Cap de la Cit concision. 
He made no legal claims. Since 
the area where the island is lo- 
cated is also characterized by the 
worst climatic conditions possible 
— frequent storms, long-lasting 
fogs, drifting ice — the island was 
"lost" for many years. 

It was found again by the Eng- 
lish captain James Lindsay in 
1808. He tried to land but could 
not; by sailing around it, however, 
he established that it was an 
island. In December, 1825, the 
English ship Sprightly under Cap- 
tain George Norris found the is- 



possession. 

OUT in December, 1927, the 

**-* Norwegian vessel Norvegia 
under Captain Axel Hornvedt 
reached Bouvet Island. A landing 
party went ashore and took for- 
mal possession for Norway in the 
name of King Haakon VII. Eng- 
land objected, pointing to its Cap- 
tain Norris. England lost the dis- 
pute, for the men of the Norvegia 
had actually landed. 

But it cannot be denied that 
Norway's title to the island, ac- 
quired in 1928, is none too solid. 
They did land, which was deemed 



FOR YOUR INFORMATION 



61 



more important than prior dis- 
covery from a distance. But they 
have never exercised their sover- 
eignty. And this has come to be 
an important point; if somebody 
else sneaked in during the antarc- 
tic night and established a colony, 
he might win out over Norway, 
since Norway has obviously been 
negligent in asserting its rights by 
possession. 

The history of Bouvet Island 
may, in the future, become fa- 
mous because of citations in legal 
arguments. In the meantime, it 
indicates that nobody will be able 
to "own" a planet by just saying 
so. 



TF MERE discovery established 
-*- ownership then the naked-eye 
planets — Mercury, Venus, Mars, 
Jupiter and Saturn — would be 
common property. They were dis- 
covered by the Babylonians who 
left no heirs and assigns. Our 
moon would be community prop- 
erty, too. 

Otherwise, Germany and Eng- 
land would fare best, with the 
largest chunks of celestial real 
estate: Germany could claim 
Neptune and England Uranus. 
But Uranus was discovered by 



Herschel, who was German-born, 
and though he made the discov- 
ery from English soil, he may not 
yet have been an English citizen 
at that moment, which would pro- 
duce an interesting legal problem. 

The Netherlands would get Ti- 
tan, Saturn's largest moon. Italy 
would get the four largest moons 
of Jupiter and possibly several of 
the smaller moons of Saturn, de- 
pending on whether their discov- 
erer, Cassini, was still an Italian 
or already a Frenchman when he 
found them. 

England, in addition to Uranus, 
would get all the four large moons 
of that planet, the larger moon of 
Neptune and two of the minor 
satellites of Saturn. The United 
States would get the two moons 
of Mars, a handful of the minor 
moons of Jupiter, one minor moon 
of Saturn, the smallest moon of 
Uranus, the smaller of the two 
moons of Neptune and the planet 
Pluto. Of course, practically all 
of us would "own" at least a few 
asteroids. 

But remember, discovery by it- 
self does not count. YouVe got to 

land on your asteroid — and stay 
there — to make it legal. 

— WILLY LEY 




62 



GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION 



FOUNDING 
FATH 





By CLIFFORD D. SIMAK 



His job was just to be first in 

the hearts of his countrymen . . . 
if he ever managed to find them! 



Illustrated by DILLON 



WINSTON-KIRBY 
walked home across the 
moor just before the twi- 
light hour and it was then, he felt, 
that the land was at its best. The 
sun was sinking into a crimson 
froth of clouds and the first gray- 
silver light began to run across 
the swales. There were moments 



when it seemed all eternity grew 
quiet and watched with held 
breath. 

It had been a good day and it 
would be a good homecoming, 
for the others would be waiting 
for him with the dinner table set 
and the fireplace blazing and the 
drinks set close at hand. It was a 



FOUNDING FATHER 



63 






pity, he thought, that they would 
not go walking with him, al- 
though, in this particular in- 
stance, he was rather glad they 
hadn't. Once in a while, it was a 
good thing for a man to be alone. 
For almost a hundred years, 
aboard the ship, there had been 
no chance to be alone. 

But that was over now and 
they could settle down, just the 
six of them, to lead the kind of 
life they'd planned. After only a 
few short weeks, the planet was 
beginning to seem like home; in 
the years to come, it would be- 
come in truth a home such as 
Earth had never been. 

Once again he felt the twinge 
of recurring wonder at how 
they'd ever got away with it. 
That Earth should allow six of its 
immortals to\slip through its 
clutches seemed unbelievable. 
Earth had real and urgent need 
for all of its immortals, and that 
not one, but six, of them should 
be allowed to slip away, to live 
lives of their own, was beyond 
all logic. And yet that was ex- 
actly what had happened. 

There was something queer 
about it, Winston-Kirby told him- 
self. On the century-long flight 
from Earth, they'd often talked 
about it and wondered how it had 
come about. Cranford-Adams, he 
recalled, had been convinced that 
it was some subtle trap, but after 
a hundred years there was no evi- 



dence of any trap and it had be- 
gun to seem Cranford-Adams 
must be wrong. 

Winston-Kirby topped the gen- 
tle rise that he had been climbing 
and, in the gathering dusk, he saw 
the manor house — exactly the 
kind of house he had dreamed 
about for years, precisely the kind 
of house to be built in such a set- 
ting — except that the robots had 
built it much too large. But that, 
he consoled himself, was what 
one had to expect of robots. Effi- 
cient, certainly, and very well in- 

tentioned and obedient and nice 
to have around, but sometimes 
pretty stupid. 

TJ E STOOD on the hilltop and 
-"-■*■ gazed down upon the house. 
How many times had he and his 
companions, at the dinner table, 
planned the kind of house they 
would build? How often had they 
speculated upon the accuracy of 
the specifications given for this 
planet they had chosen from the 
Exploratory Files, fearful that it 
might not be in every actuality 
the way it was described? 

But here, finally, it was — some- 
thing out of Hardy, something 
from the Baskervilles — the long 
imagining come to comfortable 
reality. 

There was the manor house, 
with the light shining from its 
windows, and the dark bulk of 
the outbuildings built to house 



64 



GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION 



the livestock, which had been 
brought in the ship as frozen em- 
bryos and soon would be emerg- 
ing from the incubators. And 
there the level land that in a few 
more months would be fields and 
gardens, and to the north the 
spaceship stood after years of rov- 
ing. As he watched, the first 
bright star sprang out just beyond 
the spaceship's nose, and the 
spaceship and the star looked for 
all the world like a symbolic 
Christmas candle. 

He walked down the hill, with 
the first night wind blowing in his 
face and the ancient smell of 
heather in the air, and was happy 
and exultant. 

It was sinful, he thought, to be 

so joyful, but there was reason 

for it. The voyage had been 
happy and the planet-strike suc- 
cessful and here he was, the 
undisputed proprietor of an en* 
tire planet upon which, in the 
fullness of time, he would found 
a family and a dynasty. And he 
had all the time there was. There 
was no need to hurry. He had 
all of eternity if he needed it. 

And, best of all, he had good 
companions. 

They would be waiting for him 
when he stepped through the 
door. There would be laughter 
and a quick drink, then a lei- 
surely dinner, and, later, brandy 
before the blazing fire. And 
there'd be talk — good talk, sober 



and intimate and friendly. 

It had been the talk, he told 
himself, more than anything else, 
which had gotten them sanely 
through the century of space 
flight. That and their mutual love 
and appreciation of the finer 
points of the human culture — un- 
derstanding of the arts, love of 
good literature, interest in philos- 
ophy. It was not often that six 
persons could live intimately for 
a hundred years without a single 
spat, without a touch of cabin 
fever. ' 

Inside the manor house, they 
would be waiting for him in the 
fire- and candlelight, with the 
drinks all mixed and the talk al- 
ready started and the room would 
be warm with good fellowship 
and perfect understanding. 

Cranford-Adams would be sit- 
ting in the big chair before the 
fire, staring at the flames and 
thinking, for he was the thinker 
of the group. And Allyn-Burbage 
would be standing, with one el- 
bow on the mantel, a glass 
clutched in his hand and in his 
eyes the twinkle of good humor. 
Cosette-Middleton would be talk- 
ing with him and laughing, for 
she was the gay one, with her 
elfin spirit and her golden hair. 
Anna-Quinze more than likely 
would be reading, curled up in a 
chair, and Mary-Foyle would be 
simply waiting, glad to be alive, 
glad to be with friends. 



FOUNDING FATH ER 



65 



w 

HTHESE, he thought, were the 
*■* long companions of the trip, 
so full of understanding, so toler- 
ant and gracious that a century 
had not dulled the beauty of their 
friendship. 

Winston-Kirby hurried, a thing 
he almost never did, at the thought 
of those five who were waiting for 
him, anxious to be with them, to 
tell them of his walk across the 
moor, to discuss with them still 
again some details of their plans. 

He turned into the walk. The 
wind was becoming cold, as it al- 
ways did with the fall of dark- 
ness, and he raised the collar of 
his jacket for the poor protection 
it afforded. 

He reached the door and stood 
for an instant in the chill, to savor 
the never-failing satisfaction of 
the massive timbering and the 
stout, strong squareness of the 
house. A place built to stand 
through the centuries, he thought, 
a place of dynasty with a sense 
of foreverness. 

He pressed the latch and thrust 
his weight against the door and 
it came slowly open. A blast of 
warm air rushed out to greet him. 
He stepped into the entry hall 
and closed the door behind him. 
As he took off his cap and jacket 
and found a place to hang them, 
he stamped and scuffed his feet a 
little to let the others know that 
he had returned. 



him, no sound of happy laughter. 
There was only silence from the 
inner room. 

He turned about so swiftly that 
his hand trailed across his jacket 
and dislodged it from the hook. 
It fell to the floor with a smooth 
rustle of fabric and lay there, a 
little mound of cloth. 

His legs suddenly were cold 
and heavy, and when he tried to 
hurry, the best he could do was 
shuffle, and he felt the chill edge 
of fear. 

He reached the entrance to the 
room and stopped, shocked into 
immobility. His hands went out 
and grasped the door jamb on 
either side of him. 

There was no one in the room. 
And not only that — the room it- 
self was different. It was not 
simply the companions who were 
gone. Gone, as well, were the rich 
furnishings of the room, gone the 
comfort and the pride. 

There were no rugs upon the 
floor, no hangings at the windows, 
no paintings on the wall. The fire- 
place was a naked thing of rough 
and jagged stone. The furniture — 
the little there was — was primi- 
tive, barely knocked together. A 
small trestle table stood before 
the fireplace, with a three-legged 
stool pulled up to a place that 
was set for one. 

Winston-Kirby tried to call. The 
first time, the words gurgled in 



But there were no greetings for his throat and he could not get 



66 



GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION 




FOUNDING FATHER 



67 



V 



them out. He tried again and 
made it: "Job! Job, where are 
you?" 

Job came running from some- 
where in the house. "What's the 
trouble, sir?" 

"Where are the others? Where 
have they gone? They should be 
waiting for me." 

Job shook his head, just slight- 
ly, a quick move right and left. 
"Mister Kirby, sir, they were never 
here." 

"Never here! But they were 
here when I left this morning. 
They knew I'd be coming back." 

"You fail to understand, sir. 
There were never any others. 
There were just you and I and 
the other robots. And the embryos, 
of course." 

WflNSTON-KIRBY let go of 
* * the door and walked a few 
feet forward. 

"Job," he said, "you're joking." 
But he knew something was wrong 
— robots never joke. 

"We let you keep them as long 
as we could," said Job. "We hated 
to have to take them from you, 
sir. But we needed the equipment 
for the incubators." 

"But this room! The rugs, the 
furniture, the — " 

"That was all part of it, sir. 
Part qf the dimensino." 

Winston-Kirby walked slowly 
across the room, used one foot to 
hook the three-legged stool out 



from the table. He sat down 
heavily. 

"The dimensino?" he asked. 

■ 

"Surely you remember." 

He frowned to indicate he 
didn't. But it was coming back 
to him, some of it, slowly and re- 
luctantly, emerging vaguely after 
all the years of forgetfulness. 

He fought against the remem- 
bering and the knowledge. He 
tried to push it back into that 
dark corner of his mind from 
which it came. It was sacrilege 
and treason — it was madness. 

"The human embryos," Job told 
him, "came through very well. Of 
the thousand of them, all but three 
are viable." 

Winston-Kirby shook his head, 
as if to clear away the mist that 
befogged his brain. 

"We have the incubators all 
set up in the outbuildings, sir," 
said Job. "We waited as long as 
we could before we took the di- 
mensino equipment. We let you 
have it until the very last. It 
might have been easier, sir, if we 
could have done it gradually, but 
there is no provision for that. You 
either have dimensino or you 
haven't got it." 

"Of course," said Winston-Kirby, 
mumbling just a little. "It was 
considerate of you. I thank you 
very much." 

He stood up unsteadily and 
rubbed his hand across his eyes. 

"It's not possible," he said. "It 



68 



GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION 



s 



simply can't be possible. I lived 
for a hundred years with them. 
They were as real as I am. They 
were flesh and blood, I tell you. 
They were . . ." 

The room still was bare and 
empty, a mocking emptiness, an 
alien mockery. 

"It is possible," said Job gently. 
"It is just the way it should be. 
Everything has gone according to 
the book. You are here, still sane, 
thanks to the dimensino. The em- 
bryos came through better than 
expected. The equipment is intact. 
In eight months or so, the children 
will be coming from the incuba- 
tors. By that time, we will have 
gardens and a crop on the way. 
The livestock embryos will also 
have emerged and the colony will 
be largely self-sustaining." 

Winston-Kirby strode to the 
table, picked up the plate that 
was laid at the single place. It 
was lightweight plastic. 

"Tell me," he said. "Have we 

any china? Have we any glass* 
ware or silver?" 




OB looked as near to startled 
as a robot ever could. "Of 
course not, sir. We had no room 
for* more than just the bare essen- 
tials this trip. The china and the 
silver and all the rest of it will 
have to wait until much later." 

"And I have been eating ship 
rations?" 



was so little room and so much 
we had to take . . * 

Winston-Kirby stood with the 
plate in his hand, tapping it gently 
on the table, remembering those 
other dinners — aboard the ship 
and since the ship had landed — 
the steaming soup in its satiny 
tureen, the pink and juicy prime 
ribs, the huge potatoes baked to 
a mealy turn, the crisp green let- 
tuce, the shine of polished silver, 
the soft sheen of good china, 
the - 

"Job," he said. 

"Sir?" 

"It was all delusion, then?" 

"I am afraid it was. I am sorry, 



sir. 



» 



"And you robots?" 

"All of us are fine, sir. It was 
different with us. We can face 
reality." 

"And humans can't?" 

"Sometimes it is better if they 
can be protected from it." 

"But not now?" 

"Not any more," said Job. "It 
must be faced now, sir." 

Winston-Kirby laid the plate 
down on the table and turned 
back to the robot. "I think I'll go 
up to my room and change to 
other clothes. I presume dinner 
will be ready soon. Ship rations, 
doubtless?" 

"A special treat tonight," Job 
told him. "Hezekiah found some 
lichens and I've made a pot of 



"Naturally," said Job. "There soup." 



FOUNDING FATHER 



69 



v. 



/ 



"Splendid!" Winston-Kirby said, 

trying not to gag. 

He climbed the stairs to the 
door at the head of the stairs. 

As he was about to go into the 
room, another robot came tramp- 
ing down the hall. 

"Good evening, sir," it said. 

"And who are you?" 

"I'm Solomon, said the robot. 
"I'm fixing up the nurseries." 

"Soundproofing them, I hope." 

"Oh, nothing like that. We 

haven't the material or time." 

"Well, carry on," said Winston- 
Kirby, and went into the room. 

It was not his room at all. It 
was small and plain. There was a 
bunk instead of the great four- 
poster he had been sleeping in 
and there were no rugs, no full- 
length mirror, no easy chairs. 

Delusion, he had said, not really 
believing it. 

But here there was no delusion. 



HP HE room was cold with a 
•*- dread reality — a reality, he 
knew, that had been long de- 
layed. In the loneliness of this 
tiny room, 'he came face to face 
with it and felt the sick sense of 
loss. It was a reckoning that had 
been extended into the future as 
far as it might be — and extended 
not alone "as a matter of mercy, 
of mere consideration, but because 
of a cold, hard necessity, a prac- 
tical concession to human vulner- 
ability. 



For no man, no matter how 
well adjusted, no matter if im- 
mortal, could survive intact, in 
mind and body, a trip such as he 
had made. To survive a century 
under space conditions, there must 
be delusion and companionship to 
provide security and purpose from 
day to day. And that companion- 
ship must be more than human. 
For mere human companionship, 
however ideal, would give rise to 
countless irritations, would breed 
deadly cabin fever. 

Dimensino companionship was 
the answer, then, providing an il- 
lusion of companionship flexible 
to every mood and need of the 
human subject. Providing, as well, 
a background to that companion- 
ship — a wish-fulfillment way of 
life that nailed down security such 
as humans under normal circum- 
stances never could have known. 

He sat down on the bunk and 
began to unlace his heavy walk- 
ing shoes. 

The practical human race, he 
thought — practical to the point of 
fooling itself to reach destination, 
practical to the point of fabri- 
cating the dimensino equipment 
to specifications which could be 
utilized, upon arrival, in the in- 
cubators. 

But willing to gamble when 
there was a need to gamble. Ready 
to bet that a man could survive 
a century in space if he were suffi- 
ciently insulated against reality — 



70 



GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION 



insulated by seeming flesh and 
blood which, in sober fact, existed 
only by the courtesy of the human 
mind assisted by intricate elec- 
tronics. 

For no ship before had ever 
gone so far on a colonizing mis- 
sion. No man had ever existed 
for even half as long under the 
influence of dimensino. 

But there were few planets 
where Man might plant a colony 
under natural conditions, without 
extensive and expensive installa- 
tions and precautions. The nearer 
of these planets had been colo- 
nized and the survey had shown 
that this one which he finally had 
reached was especially attractive. 

So Earth and Man had bet. 
Especially one man, Winston- 
Kirby told himself with pride, 
but the pride was bitter in his 
mouth. The odds, he recalled, had 
been five to three against him. 

And yet, even in his bitterness, 
he recognized the significance of 
what he had done. It was another 
breakthrough, another triumph for 
the busy little brain that was 
hammering at the door of all 
eternity. 

It meant that the Galaxy was 
open, that Earth could remain the 
center of an expanding empire, 
that dimensino and immortal 
could travel to the very edge of 
space, that the seed of Man would 
be scattered wide and far, travel- 
ing as frozen embryos through the 



cold, black distances which hurt 
the mind to think of. 



H 



E WENT to the small chest 
of drawers and found a 
change of clothing, laid it on the 
bunk and began to take off his 

hiking outfit. 

Everything was going accord- 
ing to the book, Job had said. 

The house was bigger than he 
had wanted it, but the robots had 
been right — a big building would 
be needed to house a thousand 
babies. The incubators were set 
up and the nurseries were being 
readied and another far Earth 
colony was getting under way. 

And colonies were important, 
he remembered, reaching back 
into that day, a hundred years 
before, when he and many others 
had laid their plans — including 
the plan whereby he could delude 
himself and thus preserve his san- 
ity. For with more and more of the 
immortal mutations occurring, the 
day was not too distant when 
the human race would require all 
the room that it could grab. 

And it was the mutant immor- 
tals who were the key persons in 
the colonizing programs — going 
out as founding fathers to super- 
vise the beginning of each colony, 
staying on as long as needed, to 
act as a sort of elder statesman 
until that day when the colony 
could stand on its own feet. 

There would be busy years 



FOUNDING FATH ER 



71 



ahead, he knew, serving as father, 
proctor, judge, sage and admini- 
strator, a sort of glorified Old 
Man of a brand-new tribe. 

He pulled on his trousers, 
scuffed his feet into his shoes, rose 
to tuck in his shirt tail. And he 
turned, by force of habit, to the 
full-length mirror. 

And the glass was there! 

He stood astounded, gaping 
foolishly at the image of himself. 
And behind him, in the glass, he 
saw the great four-poster and the 
easy chairs. 

He swung around and the bed 
and chairs were gone. There were 
just the bunk and the chest of 
drawers in the small, mean room. 

Slowly he sat down on the edge 
of the bunk, clasping his hands 
so they wouldn't shake. 

It wasn't true! It couldn't be! 
The dimensino was gone. 

And yet it was with him still, 
lurking in his brain, just around 
the corner if he would only try. 

He tried and it was easy. The 
room changed as he remembered 
it— with the full-length mirror and 
the massive bed upon which he 
sat, the thick rugs, the gleaming 
liquor cabinet and the tasteful 
drapes. 

He tried to make it go away, 
barely remembering back in some 
deep, black closet of his mind 
that he must make it go. 

But it wouldn't go away. 

He tried and tried again, and it 



still was there, and he felt the will 
to make it go slipping from his 

consciousness. 

"No!" he cried in terror, and 
the terror did it. 

He sat in the small, bare room. 

He found that he was breathing 
hard, as if he'd climbed a high, 
steep hill. His hands were fists 
and his teeth were clenched and 
he felt the sweat trickling down 
his ribs. 



T T WOULD be easy, he thought, 
-*• so easy and so pleasant to slip 
back to the old security, to the 
warm, deep friendship, to the lack 
of pressing purpose. 

But he must not do it, for here 
was a job to do. Distasteful as it 
seemed now, as cold, as barren, 
it still was something he must do. 
For it was more than just one 
more colony. It was the break- 
through, the sure and certain 
knowledge, the proved knowledge, 
that Man no longer was chained 
by time or distance. 

And yet there was this danger 
to be recognized; it was not some- 
thing on which one might shut 
one's mind. It must be reported in 
every clinical detail so that, back 
on Earth, it might be studied and 
the inherent menace somehow 
remedied or removed. 

Side effect, he wondered, or 
simply a matter of learning? For 
the dimensino was no more than 
an aid to the human mind — an 



72 



GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION 



aid to a very curious end, the pro- 
duction of controlled hallucina- 
tions operating on the wish-ful- 
fillment level. 

After a hundred years, perhaps, 
the human mind had learned the 

p 

technique well, so well that there 
was no longer need of the di- 
mensino. 

It was something he should have 
realized, he insisted to himself. He 
had gone on long walks and, dur- 
ing all those hours alone, the de- 
lusion had not faded. It had taken 
the sudden shock of silence and 
emptiness, where he had expected 
laughter and warm greeting, to 
penetrate the haze of delusion in 
which he'd walked for years. And 
even now it lurked, a conditioned 



him, should he slip back into the 
old delusion. 

Although, he thought, it would 
be so fine to walk out of the 
room and down the stairs and find 
the others waiting for him, with 
the drinks all ready and the talk 
well started . . . 

"Cut it out!" he screamed. 

Wipe- it from his mind — that 
was what he must do. He must 
not even think of it. ' He must 
work so hard that he would have 
no time to think, become so tired 
from work that he'd fall into bed 
and go to sleep at once and have 
no chance to dream. 



H 



E RAN through his mind all 
that must be done — the 



state of mind, to ambush him at watching of the incubators, pre- 



every hidden thicket. 

How long would it be before 
the ability would start to wear 
away? What might be done to 
wipe it out entirely? How does 
one unlearn a thing he's spent a 
century in learning? Exactly how 
dangerous was it — was there 
necessity of a conscious thought, 
an absolute command or could a 
man slip into it simply as an in- 
voluntary retreat from drear 
reality? 

He must warn the robots. He 
must talk it over with them. Some 
sort of emergency measure must 
be set up to protect him against 
the wish or urge, some manner of 
drastic action be devised to rescue 



paring the ground for gardens and 
for crops, servicing the atomic 
generators, getting in timbers 
against the need of building, 
exploring and mapping and sur- 
veying the adjacent territory, 
overhauling the ship for the one- 
robot return flight to Earth. 

He filled his mind with it. He 
tagged items for further thought 
and action. He planned the days 
and months and years ahead. And 
at last he was satisfied. 

He had it under control. 

He tied his shoes and finished 
buttoning his shirt. Then, with a 
resolute tread, he opened the door 
and walked out on the landing. 

A hum of talk floating up the 



FOUNDING FATHER 



73 



stairway stopped him in his tracks. 

Fear washed over him. Then 
the fear evaporated. Gladness 
burst within him and he took a 
quick step forward. 

At the top of the stairs, he halted 
and reached out a hand to grasp 
the banister. 

Alarm bells were ringing in his 
brain and the gladness fell away. 
There was nothing left but sor- 
row, a terrible, awful grieving. 

He could see one corner of the 
room below and he could see that 
it was carpeted. He could see the 

drapes and paintings and one or- 
nate golden chair. 

With a moan, he turned and 
fled to his room. He slammed the 
door and stood with his back 
against it. 

The room was the way it should 
be, bare and plain and cold. 

Thank God, he thought. Thank 
God! 



A shout came up the stairway. 

"Winston, what's wrong with 
you? Winston, hurry up!" 

And another voice: "Winston, 
we're celebrating. We have a suck- 
ling pig." 

And still another voice: "With 
an apple in its mouth." 

He didn't answer. 

They'll go away, he thought. 
They have to go away. 

And even as he thought it, half 
of him — more than half — longed 
in sudden agony to open up the 
door and go down the stairs and 
know once again the old security 
and the ancient friendship. 

He found that he had both his 
hands behind his back and that 
they were clutching the doorknob 
as if they were frozen there. 

He heard steps on the stairway, 
the sound of many happy, friend- 
ly voices, coming up to get him. 

— CLIFFORD D. SIMAK 



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74 



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NAME 



ADDRESS 
CITY 



...P. O. ZONE 



STATE 




t 






h off 




ffl 




t 



By JOE GIBSON 



'> ' 



Illustrated by DICK FRANCIS 




MOST people can find 
something wrong with 
the world, and some 
make a practice of it, but few peo- 
ple ever get the chance to do 
something about it— and those 



few usually go down in history 
with a resounding crash. 

Well, it's been rather noisy 
around here. 

From the very beginning, it 
had been my intention to write 



• 



76 



GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION 



Warning: never let anyone point any weapon 

i 

at you; even something as harmless-looking 

i 

as a water pistol --it may be a Cooling gun! 




■ ."„;<■■.. -'.,.;. 3? 



this account. But I certainly 
hadn't intended to write it while 
residing under police surveillance 
in the Recuperating Ward of St. 
Luke's Memorial Hospital. Nor 
did I expect the interest and en- 



couragement of the police officer 
who put me here. Nonetheless, 
Sgt. Nicolas Falasca of the Ohio 
State Police has been most help- 
ful both in the many long discus- 
sions we have had and in procur- 



A TOUCH OF E FLAT 



77 






ing the notes and data from my 
laboratory for the preparation of 
this manuscript. 

But I'm afraid there shall be a 
considerable lot of me in this 
manuscript — which, I hastily as- 
sert, is not its purpose at all. My 
apologies for that. Fact is, there's 
a considerable lot of me, as any- 
one can see. The term I rather 
prefer using is roly-poly. 

For the record, however, I am 
duly Certified-at-Birth as one Al- 



may be argued that this is no 
more than I should have expected, 
however, since the invention 
which "followed naturally" can 
only be called one thing. 

I have invented a new weapon. 

That's right — a Cooling gun. 

But let it be said that because 
I was once a war scientist, my 
inventiveness must therefore tend 
toward weapons and I should be 
strongly tempted to reach for the 
nearest one available. The term 



bert Jamieson Cooling, to which war scientist has been used so 



has been added, by my own mod- 
est efforts, a few odd alphabetic 
symbols such as M.S. and Ph.D. 
I am currently holding down a 
professorship at a small, privately 
endowed Tech college, have some 
mentionable background in both 
nuclear physics and biochemistry, 
possess a choice collection of 
rather good jazz records, have a 
particular fondness for barbecued 
spareribs — and, of late, have be- 
come an inventor. 

If I've left something out, such 
as horn-rimmed glasses, then, by 
the point of my little black beard, 
it must be the wardrobe of 36 
sport jackets. Wives? Well, I've 
been tempted, but a professor's 
salary can't support alimony. 



M 



Y DISCOVERY of the Cool- 
ing Effect itself came quite 
by accident. But twice now, that 
accident has almost killed me. It 



much, and has grown so common- 
place, that it has become univer- 
sally accepted as the label for 
anyone who spent as little as six 
weeks in the old AEC. I was in 
it for six years, and I voluntarily 
walked out. 

The official policies and inter- 
agency politics of that era seem 
of little consequence now, when 
we have three permanent space 
satellites circling the Earth and 
one of them is Russian. We're no 
longer in a weapons race; both 
sides have reached the Ultimate 
Weapon in that contest. Nobody's 
hiding or betraying classified se- 
crets any more. There's all that 
silicon-rich basalt waiting to be 
cheaply processed out on the 
Moon, if we can only get there . . . 

Back in '69, the official news 
releases were still boasting how 
much bigger was each new toy we 
rolled out of the workshop, how 



78 



GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION 



much more terrible destruction it 
would wreak than the last one. 
That was hogwash dished out by 
our PR boys (and, on the other 
side, by the Reds' Propaganda 
Ministry) simply because people 
didn't know any better. Actually, 
our toys that made the biggest 
bang were the worst flops as 
weapons. 

You don't conquer an enemy 
by exterminating him. A hundred 
million corpses are no problem — 
just use bulldozers and they're 
out of the way. But a hundred 
million living, breathing, freezing, 
starving, filthy and ragged human 
beings can raise one hell of an 
uproar. And they usually do. 
Some of us felt that we wouldn't 
need to knock off even a third of 
Russia's major cities. Much less, 
in fact. 

Dr. Charles Whitney made the 
mistake of saying so. And they 
canned him. The scuttlebutt was 
that Doc's conscience backfired. I 
know better; I saw the explosion. 
It was his patience, not his con- 
science. 

Anyway, I turned in my resig- 
nation two weeks later. I walked 
out, kept my mouth shut and set- 
tled down to a small college pro- 
fessorship. I mention these events 
now simply because I believe it 
was there that the development 
of the Cooling gun actually 
started. 



T HAD begun to see what devas- 
•*- tating weapons could never 
achieve. They had deterred war- 
fare, at least up to that August of 
1969, by their threat of utter de- 
struction—and perhaps Whitney 
deserved to get canned — but they 
offered no guarantee for the fu- 
ture. And they couldn't liberate a 
conquered nation or protect peo- 
ple from a dictator's secret police. 

It was time we had something 
better. (We did, of course, but 
only a small part of the AEC was 
in on the development of atomic 
rockets.) Until we did, I could 
sense that we were simply going 
through the motions. 

But it all began to go places 
fast with that cold research we 
were dabbling in, last semester. In 
fact, it was my fault that General 
Atomics tossed that little prob- 
lem into our Cold Lab here at 
Webster Tech — my own past 
service in the AEC, my rather 
unusual background combining 
nuclear physics and biochemistry, 
and the post-grad crew I've man- 
aged to accumulate under my 
professorial wing. 

The whole deal was shoveled 
obligingly into my Christmas 
stocking and the rest of the fac- 
ulty obligingly left me to play 
with it — providing I continued to 
conduct my regular classes, of 
course. 

Perhaps it's just as well I kept 



A TOUCH OF E FLAT 



79 



my hand in, though, because that 
line of research got rapidly no- 
where. We found that materials 
which have their temperatures re- 
duced to near-absolute zero are 
just plain cold. Bring them into 
room temperature and strange 
things happen sometimes that 
isn't just them trying to warm up. 
It isn't friction-loss and it isn't 
radiation damage and it isn't en- 
tropy. 

It shows. 

There's a band of radiant 
energy somewhere between ultra- 
sonics and radiant heat that hits 
fast and goes deep, and comes out 
just as fast, and it gets triggered 
off by whatever this is that hap- 
pens with near-absolute zero ob- 
jects subjected to room tempera- 
ture. But the whole thing is so 
negligible that for most practical 
purposes it can be ignored. 

Finding that out cost General 
Atomics thirty thousand dollars, 
but our kids in the Cold Lab had 
a ball rigging the Mad Scientist's 
super-disintegrator gizmo that re- 
produced the phenomenon. 

Then, that night — it's nearly 
four months ago now — I was 
alone in the lab, just switched off 
the lights, about to close up and 
go home. And I stumbled over the 
corner of the thing. Scrambling 
up, somehow I put my foot into 
it. And reaching out to grasp its 
frame, to steady myself, my hand 



hit the switch. It went on and I 
went out. 

It was still on — I thought — 
when I regained consciousness, 
spraddled out on the concrete 
floor. I pulled the switch open 
and jerked the cord out of the 
wall socket. 



YfTHEN I got home, there 
™ wasn't a bruise or a bump on 
my noggin. Nor the faintest sign 
of a burn anywhere on my foot 
or leg or even on the sole of my 
shoe. 

That was a Tuesday night. 

The next day, the lab remained 
closed. But that night, I went in, 
switched the lights on and studied 
the machine. It showed absolutely 
no sign of damage, no burned in- 
sulation, nothing. I stuck my 
hand into it and closed the switch. 
It came on with its usual quiet 
hum. Nothing happened. 

It was almost a week before I 
heard that the janitor was still 
wondering who'd blown all the 
campus fuses on Tuesday night. 
Then I remembered that I hadn't 
switched the lights back on when 
I regained consciousness. • 

I had been blinded when I 
switched them off, had stumbled 
over the machine, fallen, all the 
rest of it. But I'd come to with 
night vision, naturally. I saw well 
enough then by the moonlight 
streaming in the lab windows. All 



80 



GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION 



the lights — the machine, too — 
could have been off, with the 
fuses blown, without my noticing 
it. I had assumed the machine 



It works on a simple "A" bat- 
tery. But there's a transistor 
hookup that behaves like no tran- 
sistor. Its molecular structure vi- 



was on because its switch was brates, which it shouldn't, and 



closed, had opened the switch and 
jerked out the cord plug. 

What happened had therefore 
required a tremendous spurt of 
juice in the circuits, or else a heck 
of a lot less juice than we carry 
in our lab outlets. So I took home 
the prints on the rig and began 
making changes. Which led to 
more changes. Which resulted in 
some rather complicated mathe- 
matics to which we scientific 
chaps resort when the kind we 
teach in colleges just won't work 



power-input. And I got more. 

The thing is a sort of invisible 
ray. It can only be emitted, or 
broadcast, as a narrow beam from 
the muzzle-coils of a very fancy- 
looking electronic rig. Low power 
is a must; more juice not only 
heats up the rig and smokes insu- 
lation, but it won't shoot the 
beam. 

I tested it on the black tulips 
(Biochemical Research Project 
187) which I got to close up by 
the clock, not by the Sun, last 
year (Project 187-A) and their 
blossoms closed each time the 
beam touched them. The purple 
mushrooms which fluff their tops 
in radioactivity showed no effects. 



emits a sharp, keening note in the 
vicinity of E flat. A rather bulky 
muffler would be required, I'm 
afraid, to get rid of that noise. 

But the oddest thing, techni- 
cally, is that invisible ray-beam. 
It hasn't any of the effects of elec- 
tric shock. I'll not go into the 
electro-neurological aspects of 
that — nobody could understand 
it except, just possibly, a neurolo- 
gist—but the simple fact is that 
this ray puts a victim to sleep in- 
stantly and it doesn't do anything 



out right. I got it: a very low else! 



No blockages or convulsions of 
nerve ganglia, not even a tempo- 
rary catharsis of "mild" shock! 
Apparently it gallops up the 
"white matter" of the nervous 
system quite harmlessly, then 
smacks the "gray matter"— the 
brain, the spinal column — a good 
wallop. Painlessly. 

In short, the victim just flops 
over and snores up a half-hour or 
so, and then awakens as if from 
a short nap, though perhaps with 
some puzzlement. There is no in- 
jury whatsoever. 

* 
i 

TVT ATURALLY, I wanted to find 
-*-^ out how the Cooling Effect 
worked and why — though I may 



- 



A TOUCH OF E FLAT 



81 



never learn what it is. Hypnosis? 
Artificially induced, instantane- 
ous sleep? (Victims can be han- 
dled without awakening.) Of 
course, I was curious. I'd have 
gone through it step by step for 
my own satisfaction, even if 

somebody else had already done 
it before. 

Nobody had — and it wasn't 
easy. During the rest of the term, 
even through final exams, I de- 
voted every spare moment to the 
Cooling Effect. Even so, it took 
another two months' hot sweat — 
the summer vacation's practically 
gone now — to get those final dia- 
grams onto my drawing board. 

But once I did, there it was, at 
least its basic circuits and com- 
ponents. All I needed was to jug- 
gle them around, coax them into 
a slim, tubular case, put a carved 
butt on it containing the "A" bat- 
tery and give it a push-button 
trigger. With that data, any good 
bench-hand in an electrical repair 
shop could have done the job. I 
fashioned it out of plastic and 
odds and ends in my basement 
laboratory. 

A glance in the telephone Red 
Book gave me the number of a 
local breeding farm and a call 



yond that, lower in the valley, the 
alfalfa field begins. With a brisk 
pacing off of a base-line and some 
rough, splay-thumbed triangula- 
tion, I soon determined my new 
weapon's effectiveness from point- 
blank range to a thousand yards 
— on guinea pigs, that is. 

At nine hundred yards, it still 
knocked them over for the count. 
At a thousand yards, it had no 
effect whatever, so far as I could 
determine through field glasses. 
The animals gave no sign that 
they even noticed it. That, plus 
the nature of the mechanism, in- 
dicates its application is definitely 
limited. Whether you make it 
small enough to fit a lady's purse 
or as big as an atomic cannon, its 
maximum effective range will still 
remain 900 yards. And not just 
on guinea pigs. 

I already knew from my own 
experience what it does to a man 
at close range. Blowing the fuses 
on the whole campus had been 
the real danger there, however. 
Had it been the slightest bit dif- 
ferent, even to the position of my 
foot in that big machine, I should 
certainly have been electrocuted 
that night. 

That was the first time it al- 



soon brought a pair of fat, inquisi- most killed me. 
tive guinea pigs in a small, wire- 
screened carrying cage. Beyond 



the patio wall, my house sides di- 
rectly on open pasturage, and be- 



nPHE Cooling Effect is worth- 
■*- less as an anesthetic for sur- 
gery. While the sleeping guinea 



62 



GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION 



pigs don't awaken when I pick 

them up out of their cage and 
handle them, even pulling their 
legs, they do struggle. They re- 
sist, like sleeping animals, not 
wanting to be disturbed. Still, I 
pinched them and bounced them 
and they invariably slept through 
an approximate half-hour. It's 
shock, and it isn't. It's sleep, and 
it isn't. 

But I certainly knew it was a 
weapon. A new weapon. And man 
alive, what a weapon! 

I turned the guinea pigs loose 
in the patio, let them scamper, 
then tumbled them both with a 
quick sweep of the beam. 

NE man in ambush could 
knock over a whole company 
of marching troops! 

The guns could be mounted on 
tripods with a rotating mecha- 
nism that kept them sweeping the 
area constantly. Anyone who ap- 
proached within 900 yards would 
go down — then wake up, climb 
back to their feet, and go down 
again every half-hour. Man or 
animal. The guns could be strung 
out to cover a whole sector, then 
wired to a single main switch — 
and one lone observer could stop 
an infantry advance. 

But they wouldn't stop guided 
missiles or even mortar fire. Nor 
would they deflect through peep- 
holes on a tank or pillbox. There 




isn't quite that much "scatter" 
from the beam reflecting off a 
hard surface. However, there is 
some — I fired through the wire- 
screen openings of the cage and 
had the beam glance directly off 
the back wall, often knocking the 
guinea pigs down without hitting 
them directly. It went through a 
handkerchief easily, even when 
folded thick. A thin glass tumbler, 
however, stopped it. 

You could take cover from it al- 
most anywhere — if you knew 
when you were going to be shot at. 
You could wear a a light plastic 
armor — if the joints were sealed 
and you kept it hooked to about 
a fifty-pound air-condition unit. 
No problem at all if you ride a 
motor scooter. 

It wouldn't stop an invading 
army, but it could certainly raise 
the devil with the occupation. Al- 
most anyone could make the gun. 
Given the components of a pocket 
radio, a few pieces of copper wire, 
a few sticks of chewing gum and 
a penknife, I could whittle one 
out of wood or put it into a plas- 
tic toy water-pistol. 

But what the Armed Forces 
don't want right now is a new se- 
cret weapon! They have their 
manned satellite now, keeping its 
vigil over the arsenals of Earth, 
their big atomic missiles ready to 
jump off against preset targets — 
but with the frightful unknown of 



A TOUCH OF E FLAT 



83 



deep space chilling their back- 
sides. 

And, too, I can imagine trying 
to sell those Generals on some- 
thing that won't even stop a tank. 

I'm afraid I forgot to shut off 
the kitchen monitor that night. 
The servos dished out the dinner 
menu I'd dialed before noon, then 
whisked it away when it got cold. 
I noticed it when the waste proc- 
essor's stuttering hum went on a 
bit longer than usual. 

REALIZED all too clearly 
what a predicament I was in. 
The Armed Forces would un- 
doubtedly suppress my invention. 
Their lives are nightmarish 
enough already — not knowing 
what they'll find out in space or 
how it will affect matters. What's 
more, they would suppress me! 
There are certain retroactive 




clauses in that contract I signed 
with the AEC which would do 
the job with complete legality. A 
nice little hideaway, then, with 
nothing for miles but security 
guards, radar traps, trip-wires and 
electric fences. 

But that was the kindest fate I 
could expect. Quite a number of 
assorted big and small dictators 

might like my head blown off. 

The most obvious alternative 
was to suppress the invention my- 

I 

self. To destroy all traces of my 
experiments and forget about it. 



To convince myself the world 
wasn't ready for it. t 

It's quite possible I might have 
— if I hadn't kept forgetting to 
shut off things — and if not for an 
unsavory little group. 

There is small chance that Big 
Jake Claggett and his three hench- 
men will ever be remembered for 
their unwitting contribution to 
science and the future of man- 
kind. In fact, their contribution 
can be accepted as the merest co- 
incidence — unless you discount 
Big Jake's liking for foreign 
sports cars. But that came later. 

We always have had criminals 
and crime, and it just happened 
that Claggett's gang were the big 
news that day. It could as easily 
have been some other bunch of 
crooks. 

Anyway, when nine p.m. rolled 
around, my wall TV burst into 
its customary serenade of sound 
and color, timed for just enough 
of the opening commercial to let 
me settle down to watch Mr. 
Winkle's news commentary. It 
was August 23rd, 1979. At two 
o'clock that afternoon, Big Jake 
Claggett and his gang robbed the 
Belief ontaine County Savings 
Bank and got away with $23,000. 

One of the gang clubbed the 
elderly bank guard senseless with 
the barrel of his revolver. The 
guard was hospitalized for a pos- 
sible skull fracture. Witnesses 



84 



GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION 



said Big Jake cursed the gunman 
who struck the guard, warning 
him to "get hold of himself!" 

That was enough for me. The 
world had to be given my new 
weapon. (I'm even more con- 
vinced of it now, after discussing 
it with Sgt. Falasca. Practically 
every professional criminal in this 
country would give almost any- 
thing for the Cooling gun. Then 
they could commit armed rob- 
bery with no risk of earning a 
murder rap!) I could see that 
both criminals and police officers 
would welcome it and for one 
simple reason. 

It doesn't kill, maim or injure. 
Even if it should cause a tremen- 
dous increase in robberies and 
similar crimes, its victims wouldn't 
be dead. Better a hundred rob- 
beries than one man's death. 

Besides, I had a notion that I 
could discourage its criminal use. 



I^IRST I had to prevent its 
-*• suppression. Solve that prob- 
lem and there wouldn't be any 
reason I couldn't manufacture the 
pistols, advertise them, and sell 
them exactly as any firearms 
company can sell .22 rifles. Ex- 
cept that I should probably do 
better to arrange for their manu- 
facture by some established firm. 
That was when I began plan- 
ning to write this. There is just 
one condition under which no se- 



cret can be suppressed — when it 
ceases to be a secret! 

It took preparation. The 
roughed-out diagrams and scrib- 
bled notes a man uses in research 
are hardly suitable for publica- 
tion. Technical specifications had 
to be phrased in clear, under- 
standable terms. The complete 
data took nearly two weeks to 
reach final draft. Also, it seemed 
best to establish the importance, 
and at least imply the probable 
consequences, of this publication. 

And then, obviously, I had to 
find a publisher. 

That one had me stumped. 

Furthermore, I suspect it might 
still have me stumped if I did not 
now have the full support of the 
Governor and the State Police of 
Ohio. These police officers want 
Cooling guns! But even back then, 

* 

while I was still the only man on 
Earth who knew about it, I man- 
aged to formulate a solution of 
sorts. ' 

Any publisher would be scared 
of the thing while only he and I 
and the printers knew about it. 
He'd be risking a Federal injunc- 
tion, at the very least, even to 
consider publishing it. 

But if it were no longer a se- 
cret and simply not yet common 
knowledge, most publishers would 
grab it. If, for example, some 
manufacturing firm had already 
considered it and was planning 



A TOUCH OF E FLAT 



85 



to put Cooling guns into produc- 



tion. 



ft • • 



Dr. Charles Whitney is cur- 
rently the president and chief 
stockholder of the Cleveland 
Atomic Equipment Company, 
which designs and manufactures 
special tools and equipment for 
nuclear power companies, radia- 
tion labs and universities through- 
out the Midwest. He started the 
business after his dismissal from 
the AEC and built it up gradually 
over the ensuing ten years. We 
have some of his tools at Webster 
Tech. 

Then, too, Whitney and I had 
maintained a cursory, but friendly 
contact through the years, so 
naturally I thought of him first. 
He had the production layout for 
the job; what's more, he had the 
guts to go through with it. All I 
had to do was sell him on it. 

Unfortunately, by then I was 
scared silly. I was the furtive, 
sneaky little man whose inven- 
tion would change the world. I 
contacted Dr. Whitney with a 
simple televisor call — but instead 
of suggesting a perfectly normal 
appointment at his office, I had to 
swear him to secrecy and arrange 
a clandestine meeting in the 
country! I wonder he didn't con- 
sult an almanac to see if there 
wasn't a full moon that night. 

In fact, I wonder that he came 
at all. It was pouring rain. 



A T LEAST six hours are still 
-^*- required to reach Indian 
Lake in dry weather, even allow- 
ing the Federal Freeway's 125 
mph speed limit. Once through 
the Columbus Turnoff, you have 
to double back westward and 
northward through a hilly, rural 
country with twisting county 
roads. You must have excellent 
driving ability to average more 
than 30 mph — and it won't be 
much more — over that maze of 
roads. When they're wet, you 
need driving ability just to stay 
on them, 

I'd worked late the night be- 
fore, arranging my material for 
this meeting, and didn't arise un- 
til noon. One glance at the sky's 
heavy overcast told me what to 
expect. The weather reports con- 
firmed it. 

The world proceeded about its 
own business, of course, thor- 
oughly indifferent to a worried 
man eating his belated breakfast. 
I was so completely alone! If I 
felt any sense of foreboding, 
stuffing articles into my pockets, 
picking up the guinea pigs' case 
and going out to the car, I 
couldn't distinguish it from my 
feeling of gloom. Perhaps I did, 
since the world's affairs caught 
up with me quite forcibly that 
night. 

I met the rain before I was 
halfway up the Freeway and had 



86 



GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION 



to cut speed clear down to 85. 
The old hotel on Indian Lake 

was my natural choice for a ren- 
dezvous, since it was a gutted 
ruin in abandoned backwoods — 
though "abandoned" isn't exactly 
true. Local residents still fish the 
lake and there are a few homes 
around the shore area. 

Strictly speaking, the region 
has simply changed with the 
times. Today, you can't get past 
the toll-gate onto a Federal Free- 
way unless you have a Federal 
Driver's License and your Vehicle 
Inspection sticker is up to date — 
which changed more things, I 
think, than nuclear power and 
industrial automation. 



w 



HEN people suddenly 
couldn't drive across the 
country in any junkheap with a 
nut at the wheel, it became a 
mark of distinction just to live in 
the country. That's what made 
more rural jobs — the small com- 
munity shopping centers spring- 
ing up, products having to be 
shipped out to them, the growth 
of rural power and water systems 
— when work in the cities got 
scarce, with automation taking 
over the factories. 

But it hit the small resort areas 
especially hard. More people are 
vacationing in the cities now than 
at the seashore or mountains! 

I hadn't been out to the lake in 



years, but I had less trouble find- 
ing my way this time than ever 
before. The influx of new home- 
builders has considerably 
improved the road signs around 
there, both in number and accu- 
racy, and that's all you need in a 
Porsche Apache. My little blue 
speedster takes those narrow, 
rain-slicked county roads like a 
Skid Row bum making the saloon 
circuit with a brand new ten- 
dollar bill. The only real problem 
is getting around those armor- 
sided Detroit mastodons that 
can't decide which end is the 
front. 

Anyway, driving kept me too 
busy to think much of anything 
else. But I made good time — bet- 
ter than I expected — and it 
wasn't long after dark when my 
headlights cut through the sheet- 
ing rain to pick out the fire-black- 
ened ruin of the hotel. 

I jounced the little Porsche 
around the deep-rutted drive and 
parked next to the empty frame 
building that had once been the 

restaurant and bar. 

I had plenty of time to think, 
for Dr. Whitney didn't arrive un- 
til two hours later. 

It was sometime during those 
two hours that the Claggett gang 
smashed their way through a po- 
lice roadblock just outside Lima, 
their guns blasting reply to the 
machine-gun bullets peppering 



A TOUCH OF E FLAT 



87 



their big sedan. Two policemen 
were seriously wounded; one died 
on the way to the hospital. 

Shortly afterward, the bullet- 
riddled sedan was found by the 
roadside, but only one of the gang 
was in it. He was dead. 

And some time later, a call 
aroused Sgt. Falasca from a 
sound sleep. He didn't even take 
time to don his State Police uni- 
form, but merely pulled a trench- 
coat on over his pajamas, got his 
revolver out of the bureau 
drawer, and kissed his wife on the 
way out the front door. He had 
three other State Troopers to pick 
up, off-duty as he was, before 
proceeding to the assembly point 
at Lima. 

The Claggett gang had split up, 
some of them probably wounded, 
each of them armed and more 
dangerous than ever. They were 
wanted for murder now. 



T\R. WHITNEY made the trip 
-"-^ by helicopter, of course — the 
head of a scientific instrument 
company must keep up appear- 
ances. He'd waited as long as he 
could, hoping the weather might 
clear, then had taken off on in- 
struments and reached the lake 
by ADF gridmap. He settled to 
the lake surface and crept in to 
shore, his landing lights probing 
the thick curtains of rain. 

I heard the hollow roar of his 



his rotor blades, and hurried 
around the slanting wing of the 
old hotel to meet him. The lake- 
front presented a macabre view 
that wrenched at my memory. 
The desolate, cracked-stucco walls 
with the black holes of their win- 
dows rising from mounds of rub- 
ble beside me, a weed-grown lawn 
and a straggle of trees half-mask- 
ing the lake — stark-looking trees 
now, in the 'copter's landing lights 

— and a small boat-dock leaning 
half into the black water. 

Once, as a rather obnoxious 
young high-school student, I had 
seen this lakefront on just such a 
night. A steady rain fell, lightning 
flickered, and thunder blasted its 
anger . . . and, for a moment, I 
saw it as it had been, with that 
grand old British pioneer of space 
flight, Arthur C. Clarke, standing 
out there in the pelting rain with 
his camera, taking pictures of the 
lightning! 

Dr. Whitney brought his sleek 
craft over the treetops and settled 
neatly into the small space that 
remained of the lawn, his rotor 
tips almost nicking the crumbled 
walls of the hotel. It was a plexi- 
nosed, three-place executive ship 

— a Bell, I think. A lot of people 
prefer flying. They must fly specif- 
ic air routes and airfield traffic 
patterns; and with airfields so 
crowded, they have trouble find- 
ing a place to park. It's not for 



turbine, rather than the throb of me. 



88 



GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION 



But Dr. Whitney had heard 
the newscasts on the way out. I 
don't recall what was said at our 
meeting. It was rather uncomfort- 
able, under the circumstances — 
the more so for me, I think, as 
those circumstances were my own 
making. But when we'd rounded 
the hotel and entered the old res- 
taurant-bar, I recall Whitney's 
jocular approval. 

"Well, we're cozy enough here," 
he said. "So long as the Claggett 
gang doesn't drop in on us!" 

That was how I heard of the 
night's happenings. When he saw 
that his remark puzzled me, he 
related the news while I was set- 
ting things up for our conference. 
We were in the back room, which 
had once been the bar — the front 
section, formerly the restaurant, 
had had windows all around, 
which now formed an unbroken 
gap with a chill wind whistling 
through it. The place was stripped 
bare of its former fixtures, but 
some unsung fisherman had pro- 
vided the old barroom with a 
rickety table and several pressed- 
board boxes to sit on. I had a 
Coleman radiant heat lantern 
which I swung from a ceiling wire 
hook, a plastic sheet which I 
threw across the table, and a cou- 
ple of patio chair cushions for the 
boxes. 

It took some shifting about to 
get everything out of the way of 

■ 

several roof leaks, and I had to 



choose a sturdy box for myself, 
first testing a few. 

T CAN well imagine the thoughts 

-■- and emotions struggling 
through Dr. Whitney's mind then, 
but he showed none of them. It 
was I, rather, with my clumsy 
movements, the pauses to polish 
my glasses, the lump I kept try- 
ing to swallow, who took so long 
to face up to it. 

But finally we were ready. I 
took out my notebook and opened 
it upon the table before me. 
Whitney's frosty eyebrows raised. 
Then he quietly reached inside 
his own topcoat, produced his 
notebook and pen, and laid the 
notebook open before him. It was 
a gesture of an almost-forgotten 
past, but a habit neither of us 
had ever abandoned. Something 
about it — the reminder of count- 
less AEC conferences we had 
both attended — had a steadying 
effect on me. 

I placed my pistol in the center 
of the table. The guinea pigs' cage 
was on the floor before us. I told 
what I had to tell. 

Then I went to the cage, re- 
moved one of the animals and 
tucked it into my pocket. Return- 
ing to the table, I picked up the 
pistol and fired at the cage. The 
shrill E flat note pierced the rush- 
ing sound of the rain. 

Whitney rose and went to the 
cage. Gently removing the little 



A TOUCH OF E FLAT 



89 










creature, he felt it a moment, then 
nodded. 

"Asleep," he said, and replaced 
it in the cage. 

Looking over my notes, I see 
that considerable space would be 
required to cover the entire inter- 
rogation which followed. Also, I 
see that I failed to note down the 
almost gradual change in my old 
friend's demeanor — from his calm, 
quiet manner at first to the keen- 
eyed excitement of his flushed 
features, his rapid-fire questions 
at the end. 

I shall, instead, give some ex- 
amples of that discussion. 

"The guinea pigs sleep for only 



a half-hour? Always a half-hour?" 

"Yes. It never varies much. A 
minute or so each way." 

"If you — uh — shoot one, then 
shoot it again, does that prolong 
its sleep any?" 

"Not at all! Still only a half- 
hour, no matter how many times 
you shoot them while they sleep." 

"Ummm. That could indicate 
sleep is the brain's defense mech- 
anism against the effects of your 
ray. A successful defense, it would 
seem. They show no after-effects 
of this?" 

"None whatever. They've be- 
gun to associate it with the pistol, 
though. Each time I point the pis- 



90 



GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION 




it 



tol at them, they get mad - 

"You mean angry? They aren't 
afraid of it?" 

"Certainly not afraid! One in 
my pocket here tries burrowing 
into corners, making furious grunt- 
ing sounds. The other one usually 
just stands and glares at me." 

"How about when they wake 
up?" 

"Well, generally, their first re- 
action is to keep a sharp eye out 
for me — and the pistol." 

"Wary, eh? Damned inconven- 
ient, I suppose, getting knocked 
asleep all the time. But it cer- 
tainly doesn't seem to hurt them. 
What about mental disturbance?" 



"No obvious aberrations. But I 



» 



don't know - 

"Yes, they're only guinea pigs. 
Hardly be satisfactory to the 
American Medical Association, 
among others. Take years of re- 
search to determine its absolute 
safety -" 

"But it should be released to 
the public now!" 

"Why?" 

"Because its harmful effects, if 
any, are very likely to be insignifi- 
cant—or we'd have no doubts 
about their existence." 

"That assumption could be dan- 



»> 



gerous 
"Yes. 



But there's something 



A TOUCH OF E FLAT 



91 



else, too. This new weapon will 
replace firearms — which certainly 
do inflict injury, even death." 

"Ah, society's application of 
it — " And Dr. Whitney took sev- 
eral minutes to digest that aspect. 

I outlined my plans to him. 

TTE WAS incredulous at first, 
■■"■• then frankly aghast. "You 
expect me to mass-produce that 
thing?" 

I said I hoped he would. 

He then commenced raking me 
over the coals in a most fitting 
and proper manner. Didn't I real- 
ize what I had created? My vi- 
sions of it freeing peoples from 
police-state enslavement were all 
fine and good, and it might con- 
ceivably have such result; but 
what I had here was nothing more 
than the most fiendish instrument 
ever inflicted upon human society! 

What did I think it might do in 
the hands of muggers, sex offend- 
ers, pickpockets, burglars or 
worse? Why, our whole civilized 
culture would be thrown into 
chaos! No person would dare ever 
be alone, for fear of ambush. No 
one could sleep without someone 
else standing watch! No man 
could defend his own possessions, 
no woman could keep her chas- 
tity, unless people were around 
them, watching them every mo- 
ment of their lives! 

Goods could no longer be trans- 



wealthy— who could afford it — 
would have to live in massive, 
well-guarded fortresses. The rest 
of us would be like the feudal 
serf, with nothing worth stealing 
and quite accustomed to having 
his daughters raped. We'd be 
thrown back into the Dark Ages! 

I nodded agreement to every- 
thing he said. 

Then I took the guinea pig 
from my pocket, held it squirm- 
ing, and fastened a little collar 
about its neck. I unwound a wire 
from the plastic disc on the collar 
so Dr. Whitney could see it. He 
instantly recognized the tiny node 
on the wire as a miniature micro- 
phone. 

"Remember how you deter- 
mined that the other pig was 
asleep?" I asked. I taped the tiny 
node to the artery on the pig's 
neck, carried it over to the cage, 
and placed it inside. "I call this 
my 'Hey, Rube!'" I explained, 
grinning. "But imagine it as a lit- 
tle wrist radio transmitter, worn 
by everyone who requests them, 
tuned to the police broadcast fre- 
quency. Radio DF could pinpoint 
the location in seconds." 

Going back to the table, I 
picked up the pistol. "This one's 
just for demonstration," I added, 
and fired at the cage. 

As the guinea pig slumped be- 
side its companion, the disc on its 
collar emitted a harsh, buzzing 



ported without heavy guard. The noise 



92 



GALAXY SCIENCE FICTIO 



Whitney chuckled. "Slowed 
heartbeat, eh? Simple as that!" 

"And better than any burglar 
alarm," I pointed out. "This one 
needn't sit still while some crook 
disconnects it!" 



H 



E POINTED out, of course, 
that this might destroy its 
usefulness to people in a police- 
state. The dictator's police and 
troops could wear "Hey, Rube!" 
radios, too. I replied that all the 
people's underground fighters 
would need is a Cooling pistol 
and a saw-edged meat knife. One 
man could knock over a whole 
platoon and cut their heel-ten- 
dons in minutes. "The American 
Indians used to collect scalps in 
less time!" I said. "But a wounded 
man's more trouble to the enemy 
than a dead one. I think the heel- 
tendon would be easiest." 

Perhaps it was a bit out of 
character for me. Whitney looked 
at me for a long moment, and 
blinked. Both eyes, tight. 

But still he didn't think much 
of my plans. 

His subsequent suggestions 
were far more rational, however, 
than the ones I had evolved 
through fear. 

First, we didn't really know the 
Armed Forces would suppress 
this gun. They were completely 
involved in their problems of 
space flight and military satel- 
lites; there probably wasn't any- 



one left in Washington who was 
even looking for secret weapons 
now. And we just might get this 
gun through while they weren't 
looking. 

He suggested, therefore, that I 
attempt to patent my invention. 
But that we should take adequate 
safeguards : I must handle all pat- 
ent correspondence through his 
office. Then, if the Armed Forces 
clamped down, they'd come there 
first — and he could tip me off in 
time to escape. I'd have to flee 
the country. But at least I'd be 
free and we could adopt other 
measures for bringing out the 
gun. 

It would be pointless now to 
disclose what other plans and ar- 
rangements we made. It's enough 
to say I agreed. The discussion 
then turned to further speculation 
of what the future might be with 
the Cooling gun. 

Whitney was not at all con- 
vinced it would be good, but, 
rather, that neither we nor any 
group of men had the right to de- 
cide what humanity should or 
should not do. 

He had strong doubts that it 
would mean the end of dictator- 
ship. "Dictators dream world con- 
quest, and dreams like that breed 
war," he said. "But they aren't the 
only ones to blame. You'll find 
people who like dictatorships!" 

But the truth was that most of 
humanity didn't want to get in- 



A TOUCH OF E FLAT 



93 




volved, never realizing that that 
involved them more than any- 
thing else could. 

It was at approximately this 
time, so far as I can determine, 
that Big Jake Claggett and one of 
his henchmen walked up to a 
service station where a Porsche 
speedster was getting gas. They 
clubbed the station attendant un- 

■ 

conscious, hauled the driver out 
of the little sports car and took 
off in it. 

Dr. Whitney left me with a 
problem. What could be done to 
keep people alert? It is this one 
thing that will determine the 
Cooling gun's effect on the world 



— whether as an instrument of 

crime or protection for the weak, 

the innocent. 

Where people are complacent, 

it will be a boon to thieves and 

revolutionaries. 

Where people are alert — 

But what could keep us alert? 




RIVING back, I was preoc- 
cupied, hardly conscious of 
the little car's deft progress over 
the slick roads. It was almost with 
a feeling of detached interest that 
I saw the black skid-marks at the 

i 

bottom of the hill — then, with 
chill shock, the dark bulk of the 
sedan on its side in the ditch. 



94 



GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION 



,i.. 




I was slowing when a flashlight 
beam raked outward from the 
car, showing crumpled metal and 
broken headlights. One figure, 
perhaps two, were standing be- 
hind it. Another one, a man in a 
trenchcoat, mud-splattered almost 
to his hips, was walking onto the 
road in front of me, flagging me 
down. 

"Get out of that car!" 



speed of the sedan, as evidenced 
by its skid-marks. My mind 
leaped instantly to one nerve-shat- 
tering conclusion — 

And I felt absolutely calm. I 
can't explain that. It may have 
been that the night's events had 
already drained me of tense emo- 
tion. 

They're armed, I thought, but 
so am I! And I have a weapon 



There were exasperation and that can get them all with one 



rage in his voice, an expression of 
utter fury on his face. He stood 
just at the edge of my headlights' 
glare, not directly in it, with his 
hands thrust deep in his pockets. 
There was that. There was the 



sweep — 

This, while I opened the door 
and climbed out. While I thrust 
my hand into my own pocket. 

I whipped out the little pistol. 

One instant, he was standing 



A TOUCH OF E FLAT 



95 



still, hands thrust in the wet 
trenchcoat. The next, a heavy re- 
volver exploded at his hip. A 
sledgehammer caught me in the 
right side, knocked me reeling. 

It occurred to me then, lying 
there on the road, cold rain pelt- 
ing my face, a warm wetness 
spreading along my side. I had 
met the one pitfall we shall never 
escape in a pistol-packing society : 
the man who's faster with a gun 
than you are! 

Bending over me, Sgt. Nicolas 
Falasca picked up the little plas- 
tic Cooling gun and straightened 
up, peering at it, scowling. "What 
the hell!" he muttered. 

■ 

I was rather inclined to agree. 



TVTATURALLY, this had to be 
-L ^ told. The State of Ohio wants 
Cooling guns for its police officers; 
after this, other States will un- 
doubtedly follow suit. The Armed 
Forces don't want to suppress it. 
And Dr. Whitney will start pro- 
duction in just another week. 

They've been very decent about 
paying my hospital bills and see- 
ing that nothing else happens to 
me. 

f 

Even though Sgt. Falasca was 
saddled with the latter responsi- 

I 

bility, I must repeat that he's 



treated me very well. The future 
will depend a lot on men like him. 

As for the rest — I've been as- 
sured that the guinea pigs were 
honorably retired to the breeding 
farm; Nurse wouldn't let me keep 
them here. Everyone knows of 
the violent end of the Claggett 
gang. 

I want to state vigorously at 
this point that, despite wide- 
spread public belief, neither I nor 
the Cooling gun had anything 
whatsoever to do with it. I never 
at any time even saw Claggett or 
any member of his gang. Their 
unwitting contribution was the 
alerting of Sgt. Falasca and the 
rest of the police, and, as I men- 
tioned at the beginning of this 

account, Claggett's stealing a 

Porsche like mine because he was 
fond of sports cars. 

That's the whole of the story, 
except for one additional item: 

This is scheduled to appear at 
the same time as the plans and 
specifications for the Cooling gun. 
You'll find them given as premi- 
ums with safety razors, breakfast 
cereals, cigarettes and other ar- 
ticles. I wish to thank the manu- 
facturers for their kind coopera- 
tion. 

JOE CIBSON 



X-l=The choice from Galaxy, adapted by the tops at N. B. C 

Each Wednesday nite on Radio. 1 



96 



GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION 






double 



dome 



By RAYMOND E. BANKS 



Planning to have an adaptokid? 
Check into it thoroughly first 
—no home is complete with one! 




ustrated by FINLAY 



NE 



I walked 



Ojn n. morning, 
into the factory and he 
was there, our newest em- 
ployee — James Warwick, the 
two-brained, four-armed adapto- 
man. 

There was an ominous silence 
in the factory control room. Usu- 
ally there's plenty of noise— ban- 
ter, horseplay, gossip, sometimes 
even a little work — but today the 
boys were silent, heads hunched 
defiantly over control panels. 
Miss Berkland, the office sweet- 



heart, was the only one who 
seemed undisturbed as she fed 
her bank of automatic dictation- 
to-typing machines. Even Dr. 
Kirby, the plant physician, was 
glaring at the adaptoman through 
the glass wall of his partitioned 
office. 

The atmosphere bothered me. 
That's my job. 

You have to understand that 
the people who run an automated 
factory are a small, select group, 
more like a family than a busi- 



DOUBLE DOME 



97 



ness. Even the yardmen are much 
closer than in the older factories. 
There are only fifteen of us up- 
stairs in the office and a mere 
eighty-two in the yard. With this 
group of less than a hundred 
workers, we turn out an amazing 
number of assemblies that go into 
spaceships. SRA, Space Rocket 

Assembly. Thafs our name, and 
we're the principal industry of 
this small town of Worthington, 
California. 

I studied the adaptoman and 
his setup. He had an odd desk, 
what they call an adaptodesk, 
with an additional working sur- 
face built out and around the con- 
ventional desk. 

He looked quite human as he 
worked — because he was human, 
of course. Only, while his upper 
arms shuffled through orders on 
the outer desk, his lower arms 
calmly typed a report on a type- 
writer in front of him. His head 
was normal in appearance, except 
that it was large, almost — I hesi- 
tate to use the word — magnifi- 
cent. It had to be. He had two 
brains. 

And the third eye. I could see 
his shirt open at the collar and 
the third eye nested between his 
clavicles. 

I shuddered. 

The rest of him was normal. In 
fact, the half-hidden third eye 
and the second brain, really a 
sub-brain, were fairly well con- 



cealed. It was only the extra pair 
of arms that made him obviously 
different. 

He worked with poise and con- 
centration, paying no attention to 
the strained atmosphere in the 
room. 

I slipped into my office — 

All hell broke loose. 



CORTLAND, head of the Au- 
tomated Engineers, and 
Simms, head of the Office Tech- 
nicians, stormed in. 

"All right, Bob," said Cortland. 
"You're Employment. You do the 
hiring and firing. Get him out of 
here!" 

"It's all a surprise to me," I 
leveled with them. "I didn't even 
know he was coming." 

"A monster that does the work 
of two men," said the stoop-shoul- 
dered Simms. "The boys want to 
know what next!" 

"An adaptoman may go in San 

Francisco or Los Angeles," added 
Cortland. "But this is Worthing- 
ton, Bob. A small town. We don't 
want any adaptomen around 
here." 

"Thanks for the lecture," I said 
drily. "As spokesmen for your 
unions, you're making this an offi- 
cial protest?" 

"It damn well is," said Cort. 

Simms nodded. 

"On what grounds?" I asked. 

"He, uh, he's doing an extra 
man out of a job." 



98 



GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION 



» 



"Now hold on! As far as I can 
see, he's only doing one job — 
Production Scheduler, no more, 
no less. We lost a man yesterday. 
We hired one today." 

"Sure — today," said Simms. 
"And what has Management got 
up its sleeve for the future?" 

"Like I told you- 

Cortland leaned over my desk, 
his face red. "No, let me tell you 
something, Mr. Hunter. Adapto- 
man goes out of here in twenty- 
four hours or else they'll carry 
him out. Remember that!" 

Simms nodded energetic ap- 
proval and the two of them strode 
out. My buzzer rang. The Chief 
wanted to see me. I wanted to see 

I 

him, too, because I knew he was 
leaving town that morning for an 
extended trip. But before I could 
hit the button, Perch, the Yard 
Master, lumbered in. 

"Look, Bob," he said. "Some- 
body told the yard crew that 
there was an adaptoman up here. 
Now the people in skilled labor 
have taken a lot of pushing 
around since automation and 
they don't like the idea. They see 
adaptomen used in spaceships. 
Now they see them coming into 
the office. Next it'll be the yard. 
Can't you get that laboratory 
nightmare out of here before trou- 
ble starts?" 

"I didn't even know he was on 
the premises until ten min — " 

"This is a small town, Bob. It 



ain't in the cards. Get the word up 
front fast. I won't be responsible 
beyond today." 

Perch laboriously waddled out 
of the office. I knew he had only 
told me informally what his yard- 
men would be telling me at bor- 
ing length in a very short while. 

I sighed and turned to the now 
dead buzzer for the Chief. Then 
Dr. Kirby came in. 

Kirby is a special figure in 
Worthington. He's the Plant Doc- 
tor. In the afternoon, he has a 
private practice. He's also on the 
Board of Education, the Red 
Cross and the City Council. He 
almost never speaks for himself. 
He speaks for the town. 

"Something new has been 
added," he said wryly. 

"Yes," I said. 

"Won't get a medical clear- 
ance. Man can't work for SRA 
without a medical clearance. And 
I won't give it." 

"Why?" ^ 

E SAID glibly: "Adaptomen 
might carry contagious dis- 
eases. A bug they never worked 
out when they invented the con- 
ception gun. Can't have him on 
the premises. Half the staff will 
be sick all the time. Might even 
start an epidemic to spread over 
Worthington." 

That's a myth, of course. And 
Kirby, a good doctor, knew it. He 
also knew that he couldn't drive 




DOUBLE DOME 



99 



the adaptoman out as easily with 
his political and social influence 
as with his medical influence. 
Kirby heads the Medical Associ- 
ation. If he said our adaptoman 
was a health menace, the Associ- 
ation said it. 

I sighed. 'Til take it up with 
the Chief. But look, Frank, Fve 
always been curious about adap- 
tomen. In fact, Marion and I were 
even thinking . . . maybe . . . our 
next child—" 

Kirby is red-headed and has a 
flat face with a big, wide grin. 
Not too humorous. He grinned 
and shook his head. "It isn't prac- 
tical, Bob. Adaptomen are just a 
fad. They were needed to get 
space travel going. Ships had to 
be small, pilots and crewmen 
highly efficient. A man with two 
sets of arms, an extra eye and 
an extra brain can manipulate 
more dials, fix more wiring, think 
faster, stay awake longer. But 
that was pioneer stuff, like the 
early spaceships. Adaptomen are 
just as useless today. Within five 
years, they'll be extinct. As far as 
Worthington goes, we don't even 
want to bother with 'em." 

He peered out of the glass at 
the adaptoman, whose desk-sign 
gave his name as James Warwick. 

"Can you imagine your daugh- 
ter in the arms of that four-armed 
monster?" 

"I don't have a daughter," I 
said. I was getting a little peeved. 



I hated to see our small town act 
like a small town. 

He tapped me on the shoulder. 
"You always were too forward- 
thinking, Bob. You don't belong 
in Worthington. You belong in a 
big city." 

"I wanted to belong to space," 
I snapped. "I wanted to go out 
there. I've often wished I were 
adapto myself." 

"Well, you're not. Don't go out 
on a limb for them. It's going to 
be no sale." 

And Kirby left me. 

I climbed the stairs to the In- 
ner Sanctum, but found only old 

Miss Peabody, the Chiefs secre- 
tary. 

"Mr. Eakins had to leave, Mr. 

Hunter. He had hoped to talk to 
you for a few minutes, but he is 
going east for his meeting. He 
left this message." 

She handed me a piece of 
paper. The chief had scribbled a 
hasty note on it : 

"Have hired an adaptoman, 
James Warwick, for Decker's job. 
He's your baby. See that all goes 
well." 

Then: "P.S. In the interests of 
progress, Space Rocket Assembly 
Board of Directors has decided to 
place adaptomen in all factories 
as a test. Our quota is one. I think 
he'd better work out. As our In- 
dustrial-Public Relations Exec, 
you've got to carry the ball. Don't 
drop it. Eakins." 



100 



GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION 



That was like old Eakins. He 
hated small towns; he hated 
Worthington. He spent as much 

time away as possible. He had 
made political enemies at the De- 
troit home plant of SRA and was 
merely passing his exile time at 
our small branch plant until 
things grew easier. It was typical 
for him to sidestep. 

T WENT back down the stairs 
* slowly. I'd done a lot of 
thinking about adaptomen. I had 
wanted to go out in space — the 
space travel that adaptomen pio- 
neered. I hadn't been able to. 
Now Marion and I had seriously 
discussed whether our next child 
shouldn't be adapto. This was go- 
ing to be a good way to collect 

information. 

"Jimmy," I said to the adapto- 

man, "we've got problems." 
"I know it, Mr. Hunter." 
He was blond with green eyes 

flecked with brown. When I 

learned that he was only seven- 
teen years old, I doubly cursed 
old Eakins. A kid! And you could 
tell from his small build and his 
fair complexion that he was no 
rough-and-tumbler. The least they 
could have done — 

"First, the Engineers' Group," 
I said. 

"Could I - could I talk to them, 
Mr. Hunter?" 

"Sure," I said gloomily. "We'll 
both talk to them. I'm not afraid 



of their threats of personal vio- 
lence—" 

He squirmed in his chair. 

"—but the yardmen are some- 
thing else again," I finished. 

"It seems to me the yardmen 
don't count in this. I'm an office 
worker, not a yard worker." 

"Let's face it," I said. "The 
more sophisticated people, like 
Cortland and his engineers and 
Simms and his office technicians, 
are not so afraid of the unknown, 
which you represent. But the 
yardmen aren't that sophisticated. 
They wouldn't mind punching 

you on the nose." 

"Do me a personal favor, Mr. 
Hunter. Let me handle them in 



Dr. 



my own way. 

"Furthermore, there's 

Kirby." 

"He's already spoken to me," 
said Jimmy, dropping his eyes as 
if the interview had been painful. 

"Well, those are the hurdles," I 
said. "Not to mention the towns- 

* 

people. So far, adaptomen are 
something you find only in outer 
space — and the Sunday supple- 
ments. Where are you staying?" 

The poor lad scratched his 
head. "Well, nowhere yet. Mr. 
Eakins didn't have any ideas. I've 
got my suitcase in my car out on 
the lot. I just arrived this morn- 
ing and Mr. Eakins brought me 
right here with my adapt odesk 
and told me you'd take over." 

"Ye gods! Well, you can stay at 



DOUBLE DOME 



101 



my house for a few days until we 



I didn't complete the sentence. 

/PORTLAND and Simms pro- 
^ tested loudly and at length. 
It was all words. Jimmy turned 
pale at Cortland's vehemence, but 
pointed out in a small, deter- 
mined voice that (1) he was hu- 
man, born of human parents, (2) 
a citizen entitled to work for his 
living, and (3) didn't Cortland 
and the rest believe in free enter- 
prise and the four freedoms? 

At that point, I thought Cort 
was coming over the desk at 
Jimmy. I made a signal for 
Jimmy to duck out and let me 
handle the situation, but he 
walked straight into the lion's 
mouth. 



«. 



"Besides," he said, "you've 
wired the scheduling control 
oanel all wrong. Your pre-ampli- 
fiers are underrated for the job 
they're doing and some of your 
servo-motors have too much back- 
lash. The least I can do is 
straighten your system out for 
you." 

That was a beautiful non sequi- 
tur. It left Cortland with his 
mouth hanging open. He was al- 
ways fiddling with the circuits of 
the massive controller and was 
very proud of his work. 

He drew himself up with pre- 
cisely the look of a woman whose 
honor has been questioned, de- 



manding to know where the hell 
Jimmy got his information on 
ratings and circuits for control- 
lers. 

After that, the conference was 
over for me. It degenerated into 
a hot theoretical argument about 
gating and damping and time con- 
stants. Simms, whose people are 
almost as engineering-minded as 
the engineers, stayed with it and 
they called in a couple of boys 
and presently the argument 
moved over to the main office 
and the controller itself. 

That shot the afternoon. 

I'm afraid there wasn't much 
work done, but at the end of the 
day, Cortland came in grinning. 

"Well, so much for your lousy 
superman," he jeered. "We backed 
him to the wall. He was wrong all 
the way. That stupid kid has a lot 
to learn." 

I was about to point out that 
he couldn't learn if he was run 
out of the office, when Simms 
peered in and asked Cortland: 
"Which of the circuit textbooks 
did you want me to requisition 
for Jimmy tomorrow?" 

Cortland reeled off a long list 
of books. His eyes were shining. 
He was the missionary out to con- 
vert the heathen. 

"That crazy Adaptoman Insti- 
tute," he told me. "Like any col- 
lege— long on theory, short on 
practice. The kid needs back- 
ground." 



102 



GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION 







DOUBLE DOME 



103 



I clamped my mouth shut. I 
didn't bring up the original ob- 
jections to Jimmy from Cortland 
and Simms, and neither did they. 



M 



TVTOW look, sir," said Jimmy. 

-L^ "I have your address. I'll 
find my way to your house. 
Would you mind going off and 
leaving me?" 

I pointed out the window. A 
dozen yardmen stood near Jim- 
my's beat-up old car, waiting. 

"And leave you with that re- 
ception committee? Not on your 
life, Jimmy." 

"You'll only make it worse," he 
said. "It's got to be faced." 

I looked at the eager young 
face. It was pale, but I thought I 
detected an urgency that couldn't 
be ignored. 

I said: "Okay. I'll gamble." 

I called the head of Plant Pro- 
tection, told him that if Jimmy 
was seriously hurt, it was the 
penitentiary for him, breathed a 
prayer and went home. 

Jimmy was a long time in com- 
ing. Marion had supper on the 
table and had heard all about my 
day three times over before the 
old car pulled up outside and the 
adaptoman got out. 

Marion gave a cry and almost 
fainted. They had beaten the kid 
horribly. He dragged himself into 
the house. His head was a mass of 



what I figured had to be a broken 
rib. 

"It took three of them," he said, 
and passed out. 

I called the Plant Protection 
chief. He cursed me hotly. "The 
young jerk asked for it. He 

wanted to jump the whole lot of 
'em. After that, what could I do? 
Besides," he added thoughtfully, 
"it was a damn good fight." 

Jimmy came to while Marion 

washed his cuts. 

"Don't look so white, Hunt," he 
said. "I've been through it a mil- 
lion times at school." Then he 
turned his face to the wall and 
went to sleep. 

I called Kirby and he came 
right over. I suspect he'd been 
waiting by the phone. Kirby may 
be an egotist and a nuisance, but 
he does have a healthy scientific 
curiosity — and he'd never laid a 
stethoscope on an adaptoman. 

He allowed himself only one 
small "I told you so." Then he 
hustled into the bedroom with the 
biggest suitcase of junk I'd ever 
seen and began to examine the 
patient. It took him an hour and 
a half, which seemed overlong to 
me, even for the beating Jimmy 
had taken. 

Afterward, he rushed out, mut- 
tered, "Keep him home for three 
days," threw some prescriptions 
at me and took off with an in- 



blood and cuts, his nose was obvi- ward, absorbed look on his face. 



ously broken, and he was holding 



I went in to see Jimmy. He was 



104 



GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION 



all bandaged up, but sitting up in 
bed and smoking a cigarette — 
grinning. 

"What's got into Old Kirby?" I 
growled. 

"There's the possibility of a 
bone-chip on my second brain," 
he said. "Maybe this fight, maybe 
some old fight — I've had lots of 
them. It looks like I'll have to 
have an exploratory operation." 

"You're going to let Dr. Kirby 
operate on your second brain?" 

He nodded, blowing smoke up- 
ward. "That's the way we left it. 
Only it'll be about a month be- 
fore I'll be built up enough for 
it." 

"But Kirby is only a general 
practitioner." 

"Oh, he's done a little brain 
work. Not as many as he'd like — " 

I sat down weakly. "All right, 
Adoptoman, I spot your methods. 
You're doing great. Already got 
the town licked. Cortland and 
Simms because they think you're 
all wet and they can have the 
fun of retraining you. The yard- 
men because they admire a guy 
who can use his fists — never mind 
the extra pair. Now Kirby. He 
knows if he kicks you out, he 
loses the chance of a lifetime to 
tamper on the operating table 
with an adaptoman sub-brain. So 
the struggle for acceptance is 



active jolts with the conception 

gun shortly after pregnancy is 
established. And pregnancy is a 
woman's job. We won't win the 
battle until we win the women. 
That's going to be hard." 

"I know already you're going 
to win that one, kid." 

There was something almost 
sad in his look. "Let's wait and 



see. 



>j 



over. 



» 



"Hardly that, Hunt. An adapto- 
man is the result of a few radio- 



JIMMY was acepted by Worth- 
ington. Have you ever lived 
in a small town? Every one of 
them has its town "character," 
usually a moron or cripple that 
sells newspapers on the main cor- 
ner, or works around the barber- 
shop. He is accepted — as a freak. 

That was the acceptance Jimmy 
had in the next few weeks. 

Life seemed to settle back into 
a normal routine and I was lulled 
into thinking that Jimmy would 
slowly work his way up in esteem 
over the months and years. I 
coutan't have been more wrong. 
The next situation was — special. 

It began innocently enough 
when the Reverend Dolson 
preached a pointed sermon in 
church one Sunday on adaptomen 
and what they boded in the way 
of destruction for the human race. 

Tampering with men's genes and 
chromosomes! 

But Jimmy had a pretty fair 
voice and the choir was a little 
short on tenors. Later, in church 



DOUBLE DOME 



105 



with the Sunday sun soft through 
the leaded glass window, shining 
on his young, innocent face as he 
lifted his head in praise of God — 

Dolson gave him a Sunday 
school class to teach. 

And Aggie Burkes from our 
office also had a class, so it was 
only natural that she should 
break him in as to his duties . . . 

One night, Marion came home 
and said : "Jimmy seems to be do- 
ing all right. I went to see Aggie 
Burkes — she had gone out on a 
date with him." 

I chuckled. "That won't last. 
Cortland will stop it in a hurry, 
and if he doesn't, plenty of other 
fellows will." 

I was wrong. Jimmy began to 
date Aggie and the other fellows 
didn't stop him. 

I couldn't understand it. Aggie 
was the best deal in town. Her 
father was vice-president of the 
bank. She worked only because 
she preferred it that way. She had 
the clean-washed blonde looks 
that you associate with magazine 
ads, and a warm personality with 
a twist of daring to it . . . 

"And that's the point," said Ma- 
rion. "She doesn't care about 
Jimmy. It's a bid for attention." 

I guess it was, at first. But 
Jimmy-boy was pretty good on 
the ski slopes and swimming in 
the ocean — those extra arms — 
and when he slid behind the 
wheel of her convertible and 



drove her up into the Worthing- 
ton Hills ... 

I don't know what went on up 
in the hills, but I doubt if it was 
what some people said. After all, 
Jimmy was only seventeen and 
she was at least nineteen, and 
they were both very mild and 
well controlled. 

It was Cortland's letting him 
get away with it that I didn't 
understand. 

"A bachelor," explained Marion 
to me patiently, "is really two men 

— an eager one, but also a fright- 
ened one. He would really rather 
see somebody else take the cold 
plunge." 

"Oh, brother!" I said. "TV psy- 
choanalysis!" 

Marion grinned and rubbed her 
wedding ring on her blouse. The 
expert! 

A ND then it happened. A small 
-^*- white envelope in the mail. 
"Mr. and Mrs. Burkes invite you 
to-" 

I remember quietly laying 
down the card and going into the 
kitchen where Marion was cook- 
ing fish. 

"If Jimmy makes it," I said, "it 
proves one thing — adaptomen 
can live entirely normal lives. 
Even marry the richest, prettiest 
girl in town." 

Marion frowned. "Maybe. But 

— please, Hunt, I want to think 
some more about our next child." 



106 



GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION 



I had been pushing her. Seeing 
Jimmy's success had made me all 
the more anxious to have our 
next child adapto. I mean it made 
sense to me, the way Jimmy ex- 
plained it after his operation. 

Dr. Kirby had had very little 
to operate on. Jimmy had worked 
the bone chip to the surface of his 
brain. He told me that the Adap- 
toman Institute taught a course in 
psychodynamics — there weren't 
many doctors in space. 

"We're quite a lot different, 
Hunt," he said, "but so is all of 
Man's world. Look how Man has 
changed it from the time he left 
the trees. Cities, clothes, food — 
you name it. He's changed every- 
thing except himself." 

Now Man was ready to change 
himself, Jimmy explained. Man 
had built his instruments so well 
that they had to wait for him to 
catch up. To grow extra arms to 
handle the dials of his automated 
world. An extra brain to coordi- 
nate the mass of data his ma- 
chines accumulated. An extra eye, 
even, to be able to watch and 
read and study and supply his 
extra brain. 

I had watched Jimmy work 
and there was no doubt about it. 
His second hand-eye-brain loop 
could operate as a totally sepa- 
rate unit — or he could read a 
book while doing a normal job, 
or paint a picture — or rest his 
normal vision and normal arms. 



He was more than twice as flex- 
ible. 

"It's got to come, Hunt," he 
would say. "After all, adaptomen 
have been out of the laboratory 
for over fifty years now. We're 
proving to be the only kind of 
supermen that mankind will ac- 
cept—the kind of superman that 
is his own flesh and blood — that 
anyone can parent. 

"The operation on the mother 
is routine. Atomic controlled radi- 
ation shortly after conception. By 
that time, the embryo is set and 
you can still tamper with its un- 
specialized parts. There've been 
no mistakes. 

"And think of this. If an Arab 
considers a fat woman beautiful 
— or an African tribesman cher- 
ishes a bride with plate-sized 
lips- 

He smiled his modest smile 
and gave me a double shrug. 

But there was a lot of sober 
thinking done in Worthington 
that night, when those wedding 
invitations were delivered. 

Before, Jimmy was only a tem- 
porary fixture. Rootless. Now he 
was going to become a part of us. 
A father, a home-owner, a full- 
fledged citizen. 

And his children ... 

I think I hated Jimmy myself 
for the next week. Of course, 
adaptomen seldom bred true. But 
the idea of one of our girls lying 
in those double arms, and the 



» 



DOUBLE DOME 



107 



third eye sharing marriage-bed 

secrets . . . 

The strain mounted. I felt my- 
self being sharp with the lad, even 
though he'd become one of us. 
Marion seemed to turn cold, as if 
he'd committed some crime. The 
men who'd been conned into ac- 
cepting him were frustrated, the 
women openly hostile. The back- 
yard buzz must have been terrific. 

Aggie herself seemed restrained, 
defiant. I think she really cared 
for Jimmy, but this was the same 
girl who once took her father's 
car through the Old Jantzen riv- 
er bed on a dare. 

Nor could Cortland help. He'd 
waited too long. 

REMEMBER the night before 
the wedding. Jimmy got drunk 
that night, a callow kid, barely 
eighteen and old enough to be 
married, yet, with his extra arms 
and brain, the equivalent of a 
mature man of thirty. 

"Look," I said to him. "This is 
no go. Aggie isn't right for you. 
Even I feel that and I'm usually 
on your side. But you're making 
too much of an issue of it. A — 
thrill thing." 

I felt like a character in a con- 
fession story. 

Jimmy picked up his glass and 
weaved across the living room. 
His face was pale and sweaty and 
he kept passing his glass between 
his upper and lower hands in an 




unearthly and horrible fashion. 

"Listen, Marion, old bird," he 
told my wife. "Go 'head, have 
your little adaptokid. 'Sgreat! 
Look at me. Self-s'porting at sev- 
enteen. Cump'ney president at 
thirty. Marry the prettiest girl in 
town. Super, thass what we are — 
supermen!" 

"You're drunk!" said Marion, 
standing up, her face strained. 

"She don't love me and I don' 
give a damn!" shouted Jimmy. 
"Proved it anyway. Proved can 
marry best this loushy town has 
to offer!" 

Marion's hand shot out and she 
slapped his face. "Monster!" 

He grabbed her with his extra 
arm. Maybe it was only to steady 
himself, but my flesh crawled and 
I jumped across the room. I hit 
him straight on the mouth. 

"Get your goddam hands—" 

He went down on the floor and 
cut his hand on his broken glass. 
He began to weep softly, "'m no 
monshter. 'm no monshter." He 
lifted his young, earnest face. "No 
monshter," he whispered, and 
blanked out. 



A WEDDING is like a stage 
-^"*- play; once the curtain goes 
up, there's no way to stop it short 
of a fire. 

There we sat, practically the 
whole of Worthington in Dolson's 
church. The flowers were banked 
high. The Sun shone through the 



108 



GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION 



leaded windows. The altar looked 
very solemn and important. The 
organist did her duty and the so- 
loist sang the old, true songs. But 
an air of horror prevailed. Men 
and women looked at one an- 
other, amazed at being there. 

I had to stand up for Jimmy, 
which I did, feeling miserable, 
like an accomplice in a crime. 
Jimmy came in, trying to de-em- 
phasize his extra arms by keep- 
ing them unnaturally still. This 
only made them more prominent. 
His extra eye was safely out of 
sight under his white shirt and 
tie. It would have been better if 
he'd peered with it, for it was a 
merry, soft eye, proud of its 
uniqueness, in the protected hol- 
low of his throat. 

A last-minute delegation of the 
women to Aggie's the night be- 
fore had failed 

And now the wedding march 
began. Jimmy turned to welcome 
his bride. She looked very white, 
almost unreal in her lacy gown. 
The men in the church looked 
drawn. But the women were star- 
ing with almost open horror. 

I saw Aggie's eyes flick over at 
Cortland as she came to the altar. 

Then she and Jimmy joined 
hands and it began. 

It will never be easy to forget 
the moment when Jimmy turned 
for the ring. I gave it to him. He 
fumbled it. Maybe it was my 
fault 



He dropped the ring. 

Then he was down on all fours, 
his hands darting desperately in 
all directions. 

Aggie stared down and her 
eyes seemed to glaze. "No — not 
you — spider!* she cried. She 
picked up her train and ran, cry- 
ing, out the side exit. 

Then, in the pin-dropping si- 
lence, we all stared at Jimmy and 
he stared back at us. 

I can still hear that high tenor 
voice : "But I'm not a monster!" 

Then he covered his face with 
his hands — four hands— and went 
quietly weeping down the aisle 
and out of the church. 

We never saw him again. 

Bless the Reverend Dolson, he 
stood there like a captain on a 
sinking ship and said calmly: 
"Since the attendance today is 
better than I usually get on Sun- 
day, I will now preach the sermon 
I was saving for that day." And 
he slid into a sermon on toler- 
ance with a great deal of spark 
and fervor. 

It felt warm and cosy there, all 
closer together, at one with each 
other, as if we had come to the 
brink of a tragedy and had been 
saved. 




ICTURE my astonishment 
when, a few days later, Marion 
made an appointment to visit the 
San Francisco Adaptoman Insti- 

i 

tute. 



DOUBLE DOME 



109 



"Poor Jimmy, " she said. "He 
wasn't really a monster, you know. 
That horrible Aggie simply led 
him on." 



"But 
"The 



but 



>» 



he said 



she 



way ne saia it," 

breathed. "'But I'm not a mon- 
ster!' " 

"But our child — an adapto — 
he'll be run out of town." 

"Betty Guard is going to have 
an adapto," said Marion firmly. 
"So's Nelly Price, maybe. Don't 
but me any buts." 

That's about all to tell. 

Except for one thing. Jimmy 
had rushed back to our house and 
cleared out of town by the time 
we returned. He had packed hur- 
riedly and left. 

But there was one piece of pa- 
per on my desk, left careless like, 
and yet — 

Well, here it is. You judge: 



merit in Oregon. Do not linger after 
the Ting-drop, since the church rou- 
tine as you go weeping down the 
aisle is the best final impression that 
an agent can possibly leave. It can- 
not be improved upon. Good luck. 



I wonder if Jimmy really for- 
got that piece of paper. 

Or if he figured a poor, con- 
fused Employment Manager 
could be saved one bit of torture 
as to the devious motives and 
methods of the human and 
adapto races. 

RAYMOND E. BANKS 



ADAPTOMAN INSTITUTE 
Subject: Worthington Assignment 
To: Agent James Warwick 

( 1 ) You will win acceptance with 
the men of Worthington by the usual 
procedures. (2) You will win ac- 
ceptance of the women of Worth- 
ington by the usual procedures. (3) 
In no case is an agent permitted to 
marry the girl, as this raises hostility 
in a new territory. (4) As a last 
resort, the ring-drop has been found 
effective. (5) Upon completion of 
your assignment, you will depart 
Worthington for your next assign- 



*€&* 



RtStRRCH 
SIR VIC* 



* * 



no 



GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION 






By RICHARD WILSON 



No wonder Fadur was dismayed 
— to take over Earth, he had 
to manufacture a whole army! 



HP HE young man from Alfadu- 
■*■ riesta was magnificent, as 
young men from Alfaduriesta go. 
He had a powerful chest which 
tapered to a narrow waist, mus- 
cular thighs and calves and some- 
what oversized feet. His head, ad- 
mittedly, was small for the body, 
but not grotesque, and he had the 
usual number of eyes — three. 

That was the trouble, the eyes. 
Most of the people he would be 
among had only two eyes, and he 



had to mingle. His chest, though 
massive, was flexible and he could 
disguise it by breathing shallowly. 
But he couldn't hide the third eye 
except under an awkward band- 
The Durien Fathers had 




goofed that one. 

"Go among them and multi- 
ply," the Durien Fathers had in- 
structed him before they folded 
him into the fiery sphere and 
hurled him through space from 
the core gun. "Earthwomen are a 



Illustrated by GAUGHAN 



QUOTA FOR CONQUEST 



111 



fun-loving, nubile lot and their 
men are stupid. Make love to the 
women and avoid the men, and 
when you have ten thousand sons, 
we will attack." 

The young man from Alfadu- 
riesta, whose name was Fadur, 
had asked if the scheme was bio- 
logically sound and they had 
shown him scrolls from the scroll- 
ery and flasks from the laboratory 
and spectrostrobioscopic slides 
from the observatory. These 
added nothing to his knowledge, 
but they were an impressive ar- 
ray which gave him more confi- 
dence. 

"But will their women love 
me?" Fadur had asked. All the 
Durien Fathers had winked 
their upper eyes and the Father- 
in-Chief had led him to the pater- 
nal disguiser. 

Soon after that, he was in the 
downtube, on his way to the 
spacehurl. 

TVTOW, fully dressed and band- 
■*■ ^ aged, Fadur sat on the sand 
at Miami Beach and considered 
his mission. All around him were 
the fun-loving, nubile women and 
the stupid, underdeveloped men. 
There were children, too, but not 
many. - 

There would have to be ten 
thousand male children of his 
own, he reflected. Simple arith- 
metic meant at least thirty thou- 
sand loves, to allow for the inci- 



dence of female offspring and for 

the percentage of alliances which 
would be unproductive for one 
reason or another. 

Fadur felt a touch of panic and 
transferred his gaze to the sea. It 
looked flat and dull without the 
perspective of his bandaged third 
eye. It had been out there — two 
hundred miles out — that the fiery 
sphere had plopped him. The Du- 
rien Fathers had goofed that one, 
too. It had been a long swim. 

A pleasant maiden strolled past, 
idly crunching the sand with her 
toes, and gave Fadur a look. It 
was the first look he'd had all day 
and he sprang to his feet and 
bowed. She stopped and giggled. 

"Do me the honor to con- 
verse," he said. He thought he 
put it rather well. 

The girl giggled again. "Sure. 

Why not? Where are you from, 

India?" 

"India, yes," Fadur said. "Sit, 

please. Where are you from?" 

"Dumont, New Jersey," she 
said. "You're a long way from 
home. Do you like it here?" 

"Yes. And I like you. Shall we 
hold hands, as a prelude?" The 
Fathers had warned him the pre- 
liminaries must be subtle. 

All at once, the girl was gog- 
gling frightenedly at him. "I'm 
fifteen years old and that's my 
father over there. I don't think I 
better sit. I think I better walk. 
Have a nice visit. So long." 



112 



GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION 



"So long," said Fadur, confused 
by the evaporation of a promising 
friendship. Fifteen years was not 
the optimum age, apparently. 

He got to his feet and moved 
away from both the girl and her 
father who, he noticed, was not 
underdeveloped in the slightest. 

Somebody said "Ouch!" He saw 
that he had stepped on a portion 
of the anatomy of someone par- 
tially buried in the sand. Only the 
face was visible, and only a bit of 
that, hidden under a big straw 
hat, dark glasses and nose shield. 

There was lipstick on the 
mouth, so it must be a woman. 

SHE raised her head and said 
mildly, "Clumsy oaf." 

"Ten thousand pardons," Fadur 
said, bowing. 

"One is enough." The red lips 
smiled. "Cover up the toesies 
again, will you?" 

Fadur bent and patted sand 
over the feet, then sat. 

"That's better," the woman said. 
"I burn easily is why I'm all 
mummified up. What happened 
to your forehead? Cut yourself 
diving?" 

"Yes. I am clumsy, as you have 
learned." He thought that was 
rather good. 

"But you make amends nicely. 

You're not an American, are you? 
Where are you from, Spain?" 

"Yes. A long way from home. 
Where are you from?" 



"Baltimore, Ohio, and my name 

is Mary Smith. It really is! 
What's yours?" 

"Fadur." This is excellent prog- 
he thought. He wondered 
what kind of body she would 
bring out of the sand and what 
kind of preliminaries would be 
appropriate. 

"That doesn't sound like a 

Spanish name— Fadur," she said. 

"Spaniards have names with lots 

of things like de las and ys in 
them." 

"Originally I am from distant 

India." 

"That explains it." Her expres- 
sion could not be seen under her 
paraphernalia. "We have an In- 
dian colony in Baltimore and I 
can say without reservation that 
they're very nice people." 

He felt that the conversation 
was getting away from him and 
wished he'd had time to take the 
course in Advanced English (Idio- 
matic, Regional References). 

"Perhaps we could go to a 
place and drink whiskey," he sug- 
gested, recalling that facet of his 
indoctrination. 

"Not whiskey," she said. "I'm 
a triple sec and quinine girl my- 
self. What kind of place did you 
have in mind?" 

She unburied her arms and be- 
gan to push the sand away. Fadur 
helped, noticing as he did that 
the body seemed entirely accept- 
able. 



QUOTA FOR CONQUEST 



113 



FADUR and Mary Smith sat in 
a booth in an overcool, over- 
dim cocktail lounge. She had 
changed into a pale violet gown 
whose color made him think of 
Alfaduriesta's pastureland, where 
grazed the war animals. 

The animals were getting dis- 
gustingly fat in their idleness. It 
had been nearly three rotachrons 
since they'd been saddled and 
armored in earnest, and then for a 
short, unsatisfactory conquest. It 
had lasted barely long enough for 
Fadur to rise to lance-major. 

But there had been compensa- 
tion. Fadur's post-battle prowess 

- 

among the women of the sacked 
cities had been noted by his su- 
periors. So when the choice of a 
young officer for Mission Earth 
came to be made, Fadur qualified 
hands down. 

He was not sure he was capable 
of achieving the quota set for him, 
but in the tradition of his service, 
he was prepared to die, if neces- 
sary, trying. 

So to work, he told himself, 
sipping the triple sec and quinine 
water. He found it not unlike the 
solution he had sometimes put in 
his eyes with the three-pronged 
eyedropper to refresh them dur- 
ing battle. Now this was his battle, 
he thought, looking at the woman 
from Baltimore, Ohio. She was 
more than fifteen, he judged by 
the maturely attractive face, and 
presumably fatherless. 



Back of the third eye, two cren- 
ellations and a convolution away, 
Fadur's alarmer sounded. 

"Pardon me," he said. The 
alarm was a faint clicking in his 
skull. He went to a telephone 
booth, closed the door, dialed 
Weather and listened instead to 
the clicking. 

Reception was terrible. He got 
the impression of trouble — even 
danger — all right, but the Durien 
Fathers weren't reaching him with 
details. He had only a vague 
sense that they were trying to tell 
him there was another agent on 
Earth. But why? To help him? To 
spy on him to be sure he did his 
job? 

Or was it an enemy agent from 
Tryluria, Myachanacia or Dob? 
But surely those worlds would 
not interfere with Alfaduriesta's 
plans for Earth conquest. They 
were so many light-eons away, 
they couldn't care less. Besides, 
Alfaduriesta had whipped two of 
them decisively in wars and the 
third, Myachanacia, was so puny 
that Fadur had to laugh to think 
of it making trouble for his great 
world. 

He was still laughing when he 
returned to Mary Smith. "It was 
my traveling companion from 
Spain. I had to see if he had need 
of anything before he leaves for 
Texas. He needs nothing. He is 
very happy, having found a beau- 
tiful woman." 



114 



GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION 




QUOTA FOR CON 



EST 



115 



He held her gaze as he sat 
down, his face becoming serious. 

9 

"I am very happy, too," he said 
softly. 

She smiled encouragingly. "Are 
you here for business or pleasure, 
Mr. Fadur?" 

i 

"Business," he said. "But per- 
haps pleasure will also enter into 
it." 

Fadur wasn't sure how long it 
was before she suggested that 
they move on. He hadn't yet ad- 
justed to Earth time. He did 
know he'd given the waiter a 
number of the green paper rec- 
tangles the paternal disguiser had 
provided and received some 
metal disks in return. Mary Smith 
had helped him with the money, 
as it was called, and expressed 
surprise that he had so many with 
pictures of a bearded man named 
Grant. 

The place they moved on to 
was Mary's apartment. 

Tt/TATTERS were progressing 
IT J. verv we \\ f he thought. Mary 

sat on a couch and, by degrees, 

V 

Fadur relaxed until his head was 
in her lap. 

She was tracing the outlines of 
his face with pleasantly tickling 
fingertips when things began to 
go wrong. 

"Must you wear that bandage?" 
she asked. 

"Yes. It is an ugly cut." 
"Then let me change the dress- 



ing for you. I used to be a student 



» 



nurse. 

"No!" He sat upright. She must 
be the spy the clickings had 
warned him about. 

"Oh, come on. It won't take a 
minute." 

"No!" He stood and backed 
away. 

She got up and came toward 
him and he bolted out the door, 
his third eye throbbing under the 
bandage. 

He came out blinking into the 
street, surprised to find it was still 
daylight. This heartened him and 
he took a relatively deep breath, 
being careful not to strain the 
alien clothing too far. He might 
still be able to make a start on 
his mission today. 

He must, in fact, for his mo- 
rale's sake. 

Fadur's two-thirds vision didn't 

see the convertible racing down 
the street. It flung him to the 
ground as brakes squealed. 

Three young men piled out of 
the car and helped him to his 
feet, feeling for broken bones. 
There were none, but they said 
they'd take him to a hospital just 
in case. Within seconds, he was in 
the back seat, being raced away. 

Two of the men sat in the 
front, not talking. The third was 
in the back with Fadur, looking 
at him solicitously. "That was a 
nasty spill," he said. "You must 
be a mass of bruises." 



116 



GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION 



"Actually, no," Fadur said. "I the three young men. At least 



am really not hurt." 

"Nothing serious, I'm sure. 
We're all medical students, as a 
matter of fact, and we'd know. 
But it's always best to let the 
hospital have a look." 

"I should prefer not to," Fadur 
said as firmly as he could without 
seeming rude. "I assure you there 
is nothing wrong." 

The medical student conferred 
with his companions in the front 
seat. 

"All ri^ht. if you're sure," the 
driver said. "But I think we ought 
to keep an eye on you for a while. 
We were just going for a drive. 
Why don't you come along?" 

"Delighted," Fadur agreed po- 
litely, though he should have been 
getting on with his mission. Now 
if they had been three young 
women . . . 

As they left the city behind, the 
car spurted ahead. Fadur relaxed 
in the back seat and breathed the 
fine clean wind — which gradually 
loosened his bandage and then 
blew it away. 

The man from Alfaduriesta did 
not notice immediately how the 
scenery sharpened for him as 
three-thirds vision returned. Not 
until his companions, one after 
another, stared at him did he 
realize he had been unmasked. 

He clapped a palm over the 
eye in his forehead. With his other 
eyes, he awaited the reactions of 



they had not turned away in dis- 
gust. 

He was grateful for that. 

r T 1 HE convertible slowed, then 
■*■ stopped at the side of the road. 
The driver turned in his seat. His 
tone was almost conversational. 
"I did see a third eye in your 
forehead, didn't I?" 

"Yes," Fadur said warily. Use- 
less to deny it. His other eyes 
watched them. He was prepared 
to fight them like the warrior he 
was if they even suspected he was 
an alien bent on conquest of their 
world. 

"You poor guy. So that's why 
you wore the bandage. What you 
need is an operation." 

"An operation?" 

"To remove the third eye. 
Make you look like everybody 
else." 

"Maybe he doesn't want to 
look like everybody else, Ben," 
the man next to the driver said. 
"Maybe that third eye is his liv- 
ing. You with the circus up at 
Sarasota?" 

- 

"No," said Fadur. He was glad 
he wouldn't have to fight these 
friendly people who not only did 
not suspect him but were anxious 
to help him. They might be use- 
ful. Slowly he moved his hand 
away from the third eye. 

I 

The medical students looked at 
it with professional interest. Ask- 



QUOTA FOR CONQUEST 



117 



ing his permission, they took 
turns examining it. 

Fadur decided on frankness. 
Not much, but enough to appeal 
to them on a plane which they, as 
virile young men, would under- 
stand. 

"With three eyes, I can see the 
young ladies much better," he ex- 
plained, "but they do not choose 
to see me." 

"That's rough," the man next to 
him said. "That really is. We 
ought to do something about that. 
You ought to, Ben. You're the one 
who's going to be the plastic sur- 
geon." 

Ben frowned and examined the 
eye again. "Hell of a series of 

operations. But a little cosmetic 

disguise for a one-night stand — a 

snap!" 

"Do you mean it would not be 

difficult?" Fadur asked. "That I 

could perhaps disguise the eye 
myself?" 

"Easy," Ben said, "once I 
showed you how." He turned to 
the others. "Men, it's a time for 
action. I propose that we make 
amends for running him down by 
guaranteeing him a girl tonight." 

"Hear, hear," the others said. 

"I therefore further propose 
that we head back to the hospital 
for the necessary materials, then 
to the beer store for the necessary 
beer, then to my apartment. And 
when our friend is fixed up eye- 
wise, we'll fix him up further with 



one of the pleasantest little babes 
he ever laid two or more eyes on." 

66T\ON'T put all the alcohol in 

*-* the punch, George," Ben 

said. "We need some of it for 

+ 

Faddy's cosmetology." 

The fact that Fadur's third eye 
was set deep in its socket made it 
relatively easy to disguise. Fadur, 
who had resigned himself to an- 
swering to Faddy or Fade, 
watched his mirror image closely 
as the work progressed. He asked 
an occasional question and was 
allowed to do some of the job. 

As Ben worked on him, the 
other two medical students pre- 
pared for the party. George and 
Ralph had already used the tele- 
phone and four young ladies were 
on tap. Ralph was to fetch them 
in the convertible as soon as Ben 
was satisfied that Fadur would 
pass inspection. 

"For Pete's sake, don't get the 
colloid mixed up with the calves' 
brains!" Ben yelled at George, 
who was puttering at the buffet. 
"Faddy, work in some more of 
that pigment. That's it. Ralph, 
we're almost finished. You can get 
the girls now." 

"You're the doctor," Ralph said. 
He went. 

Ben stood back to admire his 
work. "Now for the finishing 
touches. It's all built up, but it's 
still a little grainy. Know what's 
good for that? Good old pancake 



118 



GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION 



makeup. The sins that stuff cov- 
ers up!" 

They were having a drink in 
celebration when Ralph returned 
with the girls. He introduced 
them to Fadur : Marie, Lily, Taffy 
and Joyce. 

They were all quite acceptable, 
Fadur thought, but Taffy seemed 
to him to be the most exciting. 
He was pleased when the boys 
told him she had been invited 
especially for him. She had a bet- 
ter figure than the other girls and 
her hair was long, unlike the boy- 
ish cuts of the others. He espe- 
cially liked the heavy bangs that 
fell across her forehead. 

He also liked the friendly way 
she took his arm and her laughter 

as they helped themselves at the 
buffet. He found that he was quite 
hungry and was glad to see her 
eat well, too. In fact, everything 
she did made him feel at home. 

He looked at the other men to 
smile his thanks to them for what 
they had done, especially Ben, 
and they grinned back and 
nodded. Wonderful people, he 
thought. What a pity he and his 
ten thousand sons must one day 
make war on them. It was ironic 
that their kindness to him would 
be the means by which Alfaduri- 
esta would bring them to their 
knees, but war is full of ironies. 
The mission was going well at 
last. 

He was confident that the 



friendly Taffy would also be kind 
to him and thus be the first to 
help him fill his quota. Every- 
thing about the party — the falling 
level of the punch bowl, the grad- 
ual putting out of lights — was 
leading in that direction. 

The last lamp winked out. 
There were a few laughs, then 
silence. 

Taffy's body was soft against 
his. This was the moment, the 
first of ten thousand. He was 
about to guide her to an unoccu- 
pied corner he had strategically 
noted earlier — when all the lights 
came on, blindingly. 

The nubile Taffy was holding 
a weapon aimed directly at his 
hidden third eye. He blinked the 

other two in surprise. The other 
girls had gone, but the three men 
were there, each with a pistol 
trained on him. 




EN broke the silence. "Shall 
we introduce ourselves? You 



are 



» 



"Fadur, a traveler from India.* 
He sought to brazen it out, but in 
spite of himself, he inhaled and 
his chest expanded threateningly. 

"None of that," Ben warned. "It 
just makes you a bigger target, 
Lance-Major Fadur of Alfaduri- 

esta." 

Ralph was grinning. "First in- 

tergalactic spy," he said, "and a 
rather stupid one." 

Fadur's chest deflated. The Du- 



QUOTA FOR CONQUEST 



119 



rien Fathers had really goofed. 
"Who are you?" he asked miser- 
ably. 

"No harm in telling you now, 
Lance-Major. I'm Ben Haskill of 
C.I.A. This is Ralph Peddiford of 
M.I.5 and this is Georgi Rakov 
of Red Army Intelligence." 

"But how-?" Fadur began. 
Surely he had not given himself 
away. He had been so careful, 

"You had the misfortune to 
come to Earth during the Interna- 
tional Geophysical Year," Ben 
told him, "when every telescope 
in the world was tracking the arti- 
ficial satellites. You were under 
surveillance from the minute you 
entered Earth's atmosphere." 

Fadur felt numb. "Who is the 

girl?" 

"You should know better than 

we. She's from your system, not 

ours." 

Taffy, smiling insultingly, lifted 

the bangs he had admired so. 
From the middle of her forehead, 
a third eye gleamed triumphantly 
at him. 

"You're not from Alfaduriesta!" 
Fadur cried. "We have no traitors 
among us." 

"Not Alfaduriesta," the girl said. 
She took a deep breath and her 
bosom swelled magnificently. "It's 
good to be oneself again. I am 
Tafi, of Myachanacia, tiie planet 
of women. You invaded and 
sacked Tryluria and Dob, but you 
never dared attack Myachanacia. 



You knew we'd swallow you up." 
"Ridiculous! Alfaduriesta fears 
no one." 

"Except us," Tafi said. "You 
knew that if your soldiers carried 
on at Myachanacia in their usual 
way, you'd leave us with the 
strain we needed to make us 
great. You did not dare supply 
the missing gene whose absence 
has kept our men weak and our 
courageous women not quite 
strong enough. But now we have 
you, Lance-Major Fadur." 

TJER meaning was unmistak- 
•?"■■ able. Fadur appealed to his 
fellow males. "I plead extraterri- 
toriality. You can't let her kidnap 
me and- It's humiliating." 

"We have no jurisdiction over 
you," Ben Haskill told him. "Tafi 
has. She came to us openly and 
brought a warrant. Our govern- 
ments have consulted and agreed 
to honor it. It seems only justice. 
Besides, none of our countries 
wants any part of your ten thou- 
sand three-eyed babies. We hap- 
pen to be prejudiced in favor of 
two." 

"Don't let her take me! I'll do 
anything you say. I'll be good!" 

"You'd better be," Tafi said. 
"Because on Myachanacia, your 
quota won't be a mere ten thou- 
sand. According to your reputa- 

■ 

tion, that should be a fitting life 
sentence." 

As Fadur was herded to Tafi's 



120 



GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION 



spaceship, there was a clicking in 
his skull. Then, for the first time 

since he had left, Alfaduriesta was 
in clear contact. 

"Lance-Major Fadur, attention 
to orders," the message said. "Re- 
turn immediately. Operation 
Earth canceled. Reason: potential 
threat from Myachanacia, where 
our agent reports plans for secret 
weapon posing ultimate invasion." 



Fadur supposed he should feel 
flattered. His chest expanded a 
bit as he looked sideways at the 
beautiful Tan and thought of hef 
millions of equally beautiful love- 
starved sisters. 

What the stupid Durien Fath- 
ers didn't know, but what Fadur 
knew all too well, was that he wag 
the secret weapon. 

- RICHARD WILSON 



* 



* 



• 



¥ 



* 



FORECAST 



In LULU, next month's lead novelet, Clifford D. Simak gives fair warn- 
ing that we're in for servomechanism trouble unless we prove a lot smarter 
than we have been in related matters. Don't, he insists, invoke the worried 
wisdom of the ancients and the jauntily cockeyed knowledge of mariners, 
pilots and drivers of all sorts! Though the experience of these advance 
agents with cybernetics ranges from zero to somewhat, it is generally sad 
and points invariably to caution. And their calamitous histories add up to 
tin's innocent-seeming conclusion, which proves to be a nerve-snapping 
threat: A spaceship should be a darb, a smasher, a pip, a beaut . . . but 
man all battle stations if it ever becomes a sweetheart of a ship! 

One of the supporting pair of novelets is CONFIDENCE GAME by 
Jim Harmon, a man with a Vesuvius of a talent that, v/e predict, is good 
for a giant flow of flaming literary lava for decades to come. CONFIDENCE 
GAME is perhaps the oddest con you've ever encountered: Its protagonist, 
if that's what he is, has no qualms about admitting that he doesn't know 
whether he is coming or going . . . but he does know that if he sticks to the 
old man, he is a comer . . . even if the old man is a goner! 

Along with some fine short stories is Willy Ley's THE TRIBES OF THE 
DINOSAURS, which goes over old ground — more than a hundred million 
years old — in an excitingly new way. So you think you know dinosaurs, do 
you? Don't be sure, for Ley is bound to prove most of it downright misin- 
formation . . . but then, after showing why it is wrong, he sets it right with 
vivid clarity. 



QUOTA FOR CONQUEST 



121 




GALAXY'S 





Shelf 



TIME FOR THE STARS by 
Robert A. Heinlein. Charles Scrib- 
ner's Sons, N. Y. $2.75 



IF YOU think this is strictly 
■■■ a juvenile, you're going to 
miss out on an engrossing yarn. 
A pair of identical twins are 
the protagonists, selected by the 
Long Range Foundation, a non- 
profit organization that takes on 
projects that no other agency will 
tackle due to excessive expense 
or poor immediate return on in- 
vestment. 



pair are trained as communica- 
tors for the first star ships. Ex- 
periments have shown that telep- 
athy is instantaneous, a discov- 
ery that opens interstellar travel 
to Man. 

Tom Bartlett, the narrator, is 
the lesser half of the set. Pat, the 
more aggressive twin, is obviously 
the choice for the team half who 
is to be enshipped, so Tom will 
remain Earthbound, aging while 
his counterpart remains youthful 
in Einstein time. The thing to 
remember, however, is that Hein- 



Along with other twins, also lein is always logical but never 
latent telepaths, the protagonist obvious, even in his juveniles. 



122 



GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION 



J 

The plot twists will take you by 
surprise and the characterizations 
will delight you. 

I say "y° u " because, if you 
don't battle your youngun for first 
look, you may never get it out of 
his clutches. 



SATELLITE! by Erik 
and William Beller. 
House, N. Y., $3.95 



Bergaust 
Hanover 



AS I write this, the Air Force 
-^*- has just fired the first experi- 
mental rocket of the satellite pro- 
gram from Cape Canaveral, Fla. 
If not for this, the book would 
seem to be merely the tardy lat- 
est of the spate of satellite books 
that have appeared since the gov- 
ernment program announcement. 
Instead, some of the information 
is new and most of the remainder 
is an interesting resume of mate- 
rial found elsewhere. Of course, 
that is a fault to be pinned on any 
but the first book concerning 
about any subject. 

Unfortunately, the most grip- 
ping information by far cannot be 
written for security reasons. I can 
wait for it — but not patiently. 



STRANGERS IN THE UNI- 
VERSE by Clifford D. Simak. 
Simon and Schuster, N.Y., $3.50 

T T HAPPENS that I'm a Simak 
-■- fan since "World of the Red 



to admit how long that is. His 
present collection of eleven short 
stories contains some of the best 
writing he's done, as well as a 
couple of pot-boilers that some 
dastard sneaked in. 

"Kindergarten," "Beachhead" 
and "Skirmish" are all topnotch, 
the former from these pages. 

As his admirers know by now, 
Simak can run a gamut as well as 
anyone in the field, both in sub- 
ject matter and treatment. The 
book demonstrates just how much 
ground he can cover, which is 
darn near a Decathlon. 



SPOOKE DELUXE by Danton 
Walker. Franklin Watts, Inc., 
$3.95 



TVTOTHING ever happens to 
-*- Walker except that people 
talk to him. However, those peo- 
pie are very frequently interest- 
ing and newsworthy. According 
to him, quite a few have had 
most unusual encounters with the 
supernatural that would ordinar- 
ily go unrecorded. To save these 
yarns from oblivion, Walker has 
secured permission to quote these 
notable sources, unlikely ones 
such as Mae West, a most earthy 

■ 

person: Burl Ives, substantial in- 
deed; Ida Lupino, Dorothy Mas- 
sey, etc. 

The episodes are all concise 
and understated and, as a result, 



Sun," and both of us would hate come out quite credible. 

* • • • • SHELF 



123 






E PLURIBUS UNICORN by 
Theodore Sturgeon. Ballantine 
Books, N. Y., $2.00 



A BELARD first published this 
■^*- collection in 1953 and, since 
Sturgeon has never appeared to 
more horrible disadvantage, Bal- 
lantine is to be commended for 
making the book presentable. 

The keynote of the volume is 
horror and very few fantasists to- 
day can hold a taper to Sturgeon 
when he gets a mood on. "The 
Professor's Teddy-Bear," "Fluffy" 
and "A Way of Thinking" have as 
many shudders packed into their 
few pages as most full-length 
weird novels. As change of pace, 
and thoroughly absorbing in their 
own rights, two fairy stories are 
added, "The Silken-Swift" and 
"The World Well Lost." 

This is fine off-trail Sturgeon, 
but what Sturgeon isn't? 

THE VENGEFUL SEA by Ed- 
ward Rowe Snow. Dodd, Mead & 
Co., N. Y., $4.00 

^CIENCE fiction has used the 
^ sea as source material from 

■ 

the days of Verne down to last 
year's Dragon in the Sea and the 
Williamson-Pohl series. It is ob- 
vious that the sea has always 
taxed Man's ingenuity and re- 
mains far from conquered even 
today. 

Snow has become a foremost 



chronicler of true stories of the 
deeps — this volume follows twen- 
ty-odd predecessors. It deals with 
some of the most astonishing 

true-fact shipwrecks imaginable. 
The Snow of the future, drama- 
tizing spaceship disasters, will 
have to come up with really flam- 
boyant cases to outdo these true 
sea calamities. 



SHADOW OVER THE EARTH 

by Philip Wilding. Philosophical 
Library, N. Y., $3.50 




F WILDING shows the same 
improvement in his next effort 
as he does in this over Spaceflight 
— Venus, he should reach the 



level that S-F touched a quarter 
of a century ago. 

It is remarkable that the same 
publishers who have been respon- 
sible for such excellent non-fiction 
English-printed volumes can do 
no better than this fifth-rate novel. 

With the high level of English 
S-F what it is, it must take ex- 
treme effort by the editors to 
avoid the good fiction available. 



YOU DO TAKE IT WITH YOU 
by R. DeWitt Miller. Citadel 
Press, N. Y., $3.50 



M 



ILLER is well known for his 
many articles on psychical 
research as well as his fictional 
efforts. For a considerable time, 
he conducted the monthly "For- 



124 



GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION 



/ 



gotten Mysteries" feature in Cor- 
onet. He is a very compelling 
writer, wisely using disclaimers 
and understatements. 

The point he makes is that we 
are the ones who live outside the 
"larger reality." 



STRANGEST OF ALL by Frank 
Edwards. Citadel Press, N. Y., 
$3.50 



P^DWARDS is the same man 
-" you thought you mistook the 
name for — the radio and TV 
commentator who became famous 
on AFL time. This book is hardly 
what one would expect from such 
a solid, mundane background. Ed- 
wards has collected strange data 
in the fashion of Charles Fort, but 
has presented his book in straight 
reportorial style. 

Some of the anecdotes 



startling, such as that of the 
strange motor of John Keely's. 
Even if it wasn't perpetual mo- 
tion, the man seems to have had 
something. 

Of thirty-five assorted strange 
tales, over half are new. Others, 
like the endless speculation over 
the death of Napoleon, may be 
the second time around for some 
of you. Of course, we can be sure 
that similar guesswork on Hitler's 
death will also find its way into 



AND THE WATERS PRE- 
VAILED by D. Moreau Bar- 
ringer. E. P. Dutton & Co., Inc., 
N. Y., $3.00 

^ INCE Wells's "A Story of the 
^ Stone Age," countless similar 
yarns have seen print, but only a 
handful have had the stature of 
this so-called juvenile. 

Instead of following the famil- 
iar pattern of necessity and in- 
vention, Barringer strikes out on 
a new trail, the development of 
abstract thought. His hero, Andor, 
is as unlikely a Stone Age hero as 
possible. He is small, thin and 
has nothing but a keen mind. 

The story follows Andor from 
his early youth, and his success in 
the Manhood Hunt, through his 
entire span of life. It records his 
discovery of the waters of the 
Atlantic and his realization, re- 
quiring reasoning far ahead of his 
time, that they constituted a 
threat to his Mediterranean Basin 
village. 

Most authors would have ended 
their story with a battle between 
Andor and the giant chief, with 
the nimble wits of Andor saving 
himself and the entire commu- 
nity. Instead, Andor suffers the 
bitter frustrations of most vision- 
aries who live before their time. 

The characterizations are as ex- 



future volumes like this. May the cellent as the plot structure and 
guesses be no less attention-grip- background. 



ping 



FLOYD C. GALE 



***** SHELF 



125 



Illustrated by DILLON 



TIM 




IN TH 






UN 




By FRITZ LEIBER 



Poor Butcher suffered more than any dictator 
in history: everybody gave in to him because 
he was so puny and they were so impregnable! 




ROM the other end of the 
Avenue of Wisdom that led 
across the Peace, Park, a 
gray, hairless, heavily built dog 
was barking soundlessly at the 
towering crystal glory of the 
Time Theater. For a moment, the 
effect was almost frightening: a 
silent picture of the beginning of 
civilization challenging the end of 



it. Then a small boy caught up 
with the dog and it rolled over 
enthusiastically at his feet and 
the scene was normal again. 

The small boy, however, 
seemed definitely pre-civilization. 
He studied the dog coldly and 
then inserted a thin metal tube 
under its eyelid and poked. The 
dog wagged its stumpy tail. The 



126 



GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION 




TIME IN THE ROUND 



127 



boy frowned, tightened his grip 
on the tube and jabbed hard. The 
dog's tail thumped the cushiony 
pavement and the four paws beat 
the air. The boy shortened his 
grip and suddenly jabbed the 
dog several times in the stomach. 
The stiff tube rebounded from 
the gray, hairless hide. The dog's 
face split in an upside-down grin, 
revealing formidable ivory fangs 
across which a long black tongue 
lolled. 

The boy regarded the tongue 
speculatively and pocketed the 
metal tube with a grimace of ut- 
ter disgust. He did not look up 
when someone called: "Hi, Butch! 
Sic 'em, Darter, sic 'em!" 

A larger small boy and a 
somewhat older one were ap- 
proaching across the luxurious, 
neatly cropped grass, preceded by 
a hurtling shape that, except for 
a black hide, was a replica of 
Butch's gray dog. 

Butch shrugged his shoulders 
resignedly and said in a bored 
voice: "Kill 'em, Brute." 

HP HE gray dog hurled itself on 
-*- Darter. Jaws gaped to get a 
hold on necks so short and thick 
as to be mere courtesy terms. 
They whirled like a fanged merry- 
go-round. Three more dogs, one 
white, one slate blue and one 
pink, hurried up and tried to 
climb aboard. 
Butch yawned. 



"What's the matter?" inquired 
Darter's master. "I thought you 
liked dog fights, Butch." 

"I do like dog fights," Butch 
said somberly, without looking 
around. "I don't like uninj fights. 
They're just a pretend, like every- 
thing else. Nobody gets hurt. And 
look here, Joggy — and you, too, 
Hal — when you talk to me, don't 

■ 

just say Butch. It's the Butcher, 



» 



"That's not exactly a functional 
name," Hal observed with the ju- 
diciousness of budding maturity, 
while Joggy said agreeably: "All 
right, Butcher, I suppose you'd 
like to have lived way back when 
people were hurting each other 
all the time so the blood came 
out?" 

"I certainly would," the Butcher 
replied. As Joggy and Hal turned 
back skeptically to watch the 
fight, he took out the metal tube, 
screwed up his face in a dreadful 
frown and jabbed himself in the 
hand. He squeaked with pain and 
whisked the tube out of sight. 

"A kid can't do anything any 
more," he announced dramati- 
cally. "Can't break anything ex- 
cept the breakables they give him 
to break on purpose. Can't get 
dirty except in the dirt-pen — and 
they graduate him from that 
when he's two. Can't even be bit- 
ten by an uninj — it's contrapro- 

grammed." 

"Where'd you ever get so fix- 



128 



GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION 



ated on dirt?" Hal asked in a gen- 
tle voice acquired from a robot 
adolescer. 



«T> 



I've been reading a book 
about a kid called Huckleberry 
Finn," the Butcher replied airily. 
"A swell book. That guy got dirt- 
ier than anything." His eyes be- 
came dreamy. "He even ate out 
of a garbage pail." 

"What's a garbage pail?" 

"I don't know, but it sounds 
great." 

The battling uninjes careened 
into them. Brute had Darter by 
the ear and was whirling him 
around hilariously. 

"Aw, quit it, Brute," the Butcher 
said in annoyance. 

Brute obediently loosed his 
hold and returned to his master, 
paying no attention to his adver- 
sary's efforts to renew the fight. 

The Butcher looked Brute 
squarely in the eyes. "You're 
making too much of a rumpus," 
he said. "I want to think." 



H 



E KICKED Brute in the 



face. The dog squirmed joy- 
ously at his feet 

"Look," Joggy said, "you 
wouldn't hurt an uninj, for in- 
stance, would you?" 

"How can you hurt something 
that's uninjurable?" the Butcher 



demanded scathingly. "An uninj 
isn't really a dog. It's just a lot 
of circuits and a micropack bed- 



at Brute with guarded wistfulness. 

"I don't know about that," Hal 
put in. "I've heard an uninj is 
programmed with so many genu- 
ine canine reactions that it prac- 
tically has racial memory." 

"I mean if you could hurt an 
uninj," Joggy amended. 

"Well, maybe I wouldn't," the 
Butcher admitted grudgingly. 
"But shut up -I want to think." 

"About what?" Hal asked with 
saintly reasonableness. 

The Butcher achieved a fearful 
frown. "When I'm World Direc- 



tor," he said slowly, "I'm going 
to have warfare again." 

"You think so now," Hal told 
him. "We all do at your age." 

"We do not," the Butcher re- 
torted. "I bet you didn't." 

"Oh, yes, I was foolish, too," the 
older boy confessed readily. "All 
newborn organisms are self-cen- 
tered and inconsiderate and ruth- 
less. They have to be. That's 
why we have uninjes to work out 
on, and death games and fear 
houses, so that our emotions are 
cleared for adult conditioning. 
And it's just the same with new- 
born civilizations. Why, long after 
atom power and the space drive 
were discovered, people kept hav- 
ing wars and revolutions. It took 
ages to condition them differ- 
ently. Of course, you can't appre- 
ciate it this year, but Man's great- 
est achievement was when he 



ded in hyperplastic." He looked learned to automatically reject all 



TIME IN THE ROUND 



129 



violent solutions to problems. 
You'll realize that when you're 
older." 

"I will not!" the Butcher coun- 
tered hotly. "I'm not going to be 
a sissy." Hal and Joggy blinked 
at the unfamiliar word. "And 
what if we were attacked by 
bloodthirsty monsters from out- 
side the Solar System?" 

"The Space Fleet would take 
care of them," Hal replied calmly. 
"That's what it's for. Adults aren't 
conditioned to reject violent solu- 
tions to problems where non-hu- 
man enemies are concerned. Look 
at what we did to viruses." 

"But what if somebody got at 
us through the Time Bubble?" 

"They can't. It's impossible." 

"Yes, but suppose they did all 
the same." 

"You've never been inside the 
Time Theater — you're not old 
enough yet — so you just can't 
know anything about it or about 
the reasons why it's impossible," 
Hal replied with friendly factu- 
ality. "The Time Bubble is just a 
viewer. You can only look through 
it, and just into the past, at that. 
But you can't travel through it 
because you can't change the 
past. Time traveling is a lot of kid 
stuff." 

"I don't care," the Butcher as- 
serted obstinately. "I'm still going 

to have warfare when I'm World 
Director." 

"They'll condition you out of 



the idea," Hal assured him. 

"They will not. I won't let 'em." 
"It doesn't matter what you 
think now," Hal said with finality. 
"You'll have an altogether differ- 
ent opinion when you're six." 

"Well, what if I will?" the 
Butcher snapped back. "You don't 
have to keep telling me about it, 
do you?" 



THE others were silent. Joggy 
began to bounce up and down 
abstractedly on the resilient pave- 
ment. Hal called in his three un- 
injes and said in soothing tones: 
"Joggy and I are going to swim 
over to the Time Theater. Want 
to walk us there, Butch?" 
Butch scowled. 
"How about it, Butch?" 
Still Butch did not seem to 

i 

hear. 

The older boy shrugged and 
said: "Oh, well, how about it — 
Butcher?" 

The Butcher swung around. 
"They won't let me in the Time 
Theater. You said so yourself." 

"You could walk us over 
there." 

"Well, maybe I will and maybe 
I won't." 

"While you're deciding, we'll 
get swimming. Come along, 

Joggy." 

Still scowling, the Butcher took 
a white soapy crayon from the 
bulging pocket in his silver shorts. 
Pressed into the pavement, it 



130 



GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION 



made a black mark. He scrawled 
pensively: KEEP ON THE 

GRASS. 

He gazed at his handiwork. 

No, darn it, that was just what 
grownups wanted you to do. This 
grass couldn't be hurt. You 
couldn't pull it up or tear it off; 
it hurt your fingers to try. A rub 
with the side of the crayon re- 
moved the sign. He thought for 
a moment, then wrote: KEEP 
OFF THE GRASS. 

With an untroubled counte- 
nance, he sprang up and hurried 
after the others. 

Joggy and the older boy were 
swimming lazily through the air 
at shoulder height. In the pave- 
ment directly under each of them 
was a wide, saucer-shaped depres- 
sion which swam along with them. 
The uninjes avoided the depres- 
sions. Darter was strutting on his 
hind legs, looking up inquiringly 
at his master. 

"Gimme a ride, Hal, gimme a 
ride!" the Butcher called. The 
older boy ignored him. "Aw, gim- 
me a ride, Joggy." 

"Oh, all right." Joggy touched 
the small box attached to the 
front of his broad metal harness 
and dropped lightly to the 
ground. The Butcher climbed on 
his back. There was a moment of 
rocking and pitching, during 
which each boy accused the other 
of trying to upset them. 

Then the Butcher got his bal- 
ance and they began to swim 



along securely, though at a level 
several inches lower. Brute sprang 
up after his master and was in- 
visibly rebuffed. He retired baf- 
fled, but a few minutes later, he 
was amusing himself by furious 
futile efforts to climb the hemi- 
spherical repulsor field. 

Slowly the little cavalcade of 
boys and uninjes proceeded down 
the Avenue of Wisdom. Hal 
amused himself by stroking to- 
ward a tree. When he was about 
four feet from it, he was gently 
bounced away. 




T WAS really a more tiring 
method of transportation than 
walking and quite useless against 
the wind. True, by rocking the re- 
pulsor hemisphere backward, you 
could get a brief forward push, 
but it would be nullified when 
you rocked forward. A slow swim- 
ming stroke was the simplest way 
to make progress. 

The general sensation, how- 
ever, was delightful and levitators 
were among the most prized of 
toys. 

"There's the Theater," Joggy 

* 

announced. 

"I know," the Butcher said ir- 
ritably. 

But even he sounded a little 
solemn and subdued. From the 
Great Ramp to the topmost airy 
finial, the Time Theater was the 
dream of a god realized in un- 
earthly substance. It imparted the 
aura of demigods to the adults 



K 



TIME IN THE ROUND 



131 



drifting up and down the ramp. 

"My father remembers when 
there wasn't a Time Theater," Hal 
said softly as he scanned the fa- 
cade's glowing charts and maps. 
"Say, they're viewing Earth, 
somewhere in Scandinavia around 
zero in the B.C.-A.D. time scale. 
It should be interesting." 

"Will it be about Napoleon?" 
the Butcher asked eagerly. "Or 
Hitler?" A red-headed adult heard 
and smiled and paused to watch. 
A lock of hair had fallen down 
the middle of the Butcher's fore- 
head, and as he sat Joggy like a 
charger, he did bear a faint re- 
semblance to one of the grim lit- 
tle egomaniacs of the Dawn Era. 

"Wrong millennium," Hal said. 

"Tamerlane then?" the Butcher 
pressed. "He killed cities and 
piled the skulls. Blood-bath stuff. 
Oh, yes, and Tamerlane was a 
Scand of the Navies." 

Hal looked puzzled and then 
quickly erased the expression. 
"Well, even if it is about Tamer- 
lane, you can't see it. How about 
it, Joggy?" 

"They won't let me in, either." 

"Yes, they will. You're five 
years old now." 

"But I don't feel any older," 
Joggy replied doubtfully. 

"The feeling comes at six. Don't 
worry, the usher will notice the 
difference." 

Hal and Joggy switched off 
their levitators and dropped to 



their feet. The Butcher came 
down rather hard, twisting an 
ankle. He opened his mouth to 
cry, then abruptly closed it hard, 
bearing his pain in tight-lipped si- 
lence like an ancient soldier — 
like Stalin, maybe, he thought, 
The red-headed adult's face 
twitched in half-humorous sym- 
pathy. 

Hal and Joggy mounted the 
Ramp and entered a twilit cor- 
ridor which drank their faint foot- 
steps and returned pulses of light. 
The Butcher limped manfully 
after them, but when he got in- 
side, he forgot his battle injury. 



H 



«T> 



AL looked back. "Honestly, 
the usher will stop you." 
The Butcher shook his head. 
I'm going to think my way in. 
I'm going to think old." 

"You won't be able to fool the 
usher, Butcher. You under-fives 
simply aren't allowed in the Time 
Theater. There's a good reason 
for it — something dangerous 
might happen if an under-five got 
inside." 

"Why?" 

"I don't exactly know, but 
something." 

■ 

"Hah! I bet they're scared we'd 
go traveling in the Time Bubble 
and have some excitement." 

"They are not. I guess they just 
know you'd get bored and wander 
away from your seats and maybe 
disturb the adults or upset the 



132 



GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION 



electronics or something. But 
don't worry about it. Butcher. The 
usher will take care of you." 

"Shut up - I'm thinking I'm 
World Director," the Butcher in- 
formed them, contorting his face 
diabolically. 

Hal spoke to the uninjes, point- 
ing to the side of the corridor. 
Obediently four of them lined up. 

But Brute was peering down 
the corridor toward where it 
merged into a deeper darkness. 
His short legs stiffened, his neck- 
less head seemed to retreat even 
further between his powerful 
shoulders, his lips writhed back 
to show his gleaming fangs, and 
a completely unfamiliar sound is- 
sued from his throat. A choked, 
grating sound. A growl. The other 
uninjes moved uneasily. 

"Do you suppose something's 
the matter with his circuits?" 
J°ggy whispered. "Maybe he's 
getting racial memories from the 
Scands." 

"Of course not," Hal said ir- 
ritably. 

"Brute, get over there," the 
Butcher commanded. Unwillingly, 
eyes still fixed on the blackness 
ahead, Brute obeyed. 

The three boys started on. Hal 
and Joggy experienced a vaguely 
electrical tingling that vanished 
almost immediately. They looked 
back. The Butcher had been 
stopped by an invisible wall. 



"I told you you couldn't fool 
the usher," Hal said. 

The Butcher hurled himself 
forward. The wall gave a little, 
then bounced him back with 
equal force. 

"I bet it'll be a bum time view 
anyway," the Butcher said, not 
giving up, but not trying again. 
"And I still don't think the usher 
can tell how old you are. I bet 
there's an over-age teacher spying 
on you through a hole, and if he 
doesn't like your looks, he switches 
on the usher." 



¥>UT the others had disap- 
■*-* peared in the blackness. The 
Butcher waited and then sat 
down beside the uninjes. Brute 
laid his head on his knee and 
growled faintly down the corridor. 

"Take it easy, Brute," the 
Butcher consoled him. "I don't 
think Tamerlane was really a 
Scand of the Navies anyhow." 

Two chattering girls hardly 
bigger than himself stepped 
through the usher as if it weren't 
there. 

The Butcher grimly slipped 
out the metal tube and put it to 
his lips. There were two closely 
spaced faint plops and a large 
green stain appeared on the bare 
back of one girl, while purple 
fluid dripped from the close- 
cropped hair of the other. 

They glared at him and one of 



TIME IN THE ROUND 



133 




-*-. 



.-'•"•" 



them said: "A cub!" But he had 
his arms folded and wasn't look- 
ing at them. 

Meanwhile, subordinate ushers 
had guided Hal and Joggy away 
from the main entrance to the 
Time Theater. A sphincter di- 
lated and they found themselves 
in a small transparent cubicle from 
which they could watch the show 
without disturbing the adult au- 
dience. They unstrapped their 
levitators, laid them on the floor 
and sat down. 



The darkened auditorium was 
circular. Rising from a low cen- 
tral platform was a huge bubble 
of light, its lower surface some- 
what flattened. The audience was 
seated in concentric rows around 
the bubble, their keen and com- 
passionate faces dimly revealed 
by the pale central glow. 

But it was the scene within the 
bubble that riveted the attention 
of the boys. 

Great brooding trees, the trunks 
of the nearer ones sliced by the 



134 



GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION 




bubble's surface, formed the back- 
ground. Through the dark, wet 
foliage appeared glimpses of a 
murky sky, while from the ceiling 
of the bubble, a ceaseless rain 
dripped mournfully. A hooded 
figure crouched beside a little fire 
partly shielded by a gnarled 
trunk. Squatting round about 
were wiry, blue-eyed men with 
shoulder-length blond hair and 

* 

full blond beards. They were 
clothed in furs and metal-studded 
leather. 



Here and there were scattered 
weapons and armor — long swords 
glistening with oil to guard them 
from rust, crudely painted circu- 
lar shields, and helmets from 
which curved the horns of beasts. 
Back and forth, lean, wolflike 
dogs paced with restless monot- 
ony. 



^ OMETIMES the men seemed 
M to speak together, or one 
would rise to peer down the misty 
forest vistas, but mostly they 



TIME IN THE ROUND 



135 



were motionless. Only the hooded 
figure, which they seemed to re- 
gard with a mingled wonder and 
fear, swayed incessantly to the 
rhythm of some unheard chant. 

"The Time Bubble has been 
brought to rest in one of the bar- 
baric cultures of the Dawn Era," 
a soft voice explained, so casually 
that Joggy looked around for the 
speaker, until Hal nudged him 
sharply, whispering with barely 
perceptible embarrassment: 
"Don't do that, Joggy. It's just 
the electronic interpreter. It 
senses our development and hears 
our questions and then it auto- 
mats background and answers. 
But it's no more alive than an 
adolescer or a kinderobot. Got a 
billion microtapes, though." 

The interpreter continued : "The 
skin-clad men we are viewing in 
Time in the Round seem to be 
a group of warriors of the sort 
who lived by pillage and rapine. 
The hooded figure is a most un- 
usual find. We believe it to be 
that of a sorcerer who pretended 
to control the forces of nature 
and see into the future." 

Joggy whispered: "How is it 
that we can't see the audience 
through the other side of the bub- 
ble? We can see through this side, 
all right." 

"The bubble only shines light 



as the interpreter. "Nothing, not 
even light, can get into the bubble 
from outside. The audience on 
the other side of the bubble sees 
into it just as we do, only they're 
seeing the other way — for in- 
stance, they can't see the fire be- 
cause the tree is in the way. And 
instead of seeing us beyond, they 
see more trees and sky." 

Joggy nodded. "You mean that 
whatever way you look at the 
bubble, it's a kind of hole through 
time?" 

"That's right." Hal cleared his 
throat and recited: "The bubble 
is the locus of an infinite number 
of one-way holes, all centering 
around two points in space-time, 
one now and one then. The bub- 
ble looks completely open, but if 
you tried to step inside, you'd be 
stopped — and so would an atom 
beam. It takes more energy than 
an atom beam just to maintain 
the bubble, let alone maneuver 
it." 

"I see, I guess," Joggy whis- 
pered. "But if the hole works for 
light, why can't the people inside 
the bubble step out of it into our 
world?" 

"Why — er — you see, Joggy—" 

The interpreter took over. "The 
holes are one-way for light, but 
no-way for matter. If one of the 
individuals inside the bubble 



out," Hal told him hurriedly, to walked toward you, he would 
show he knew some things as well cross-section and disappear. But 



136 



GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION 






to the audience on the opposite ble, if the people don't? What I 



mean is, if one of the people 
walks toward us, he shrinks to a 



side of the bubble, it would be 
obvious that he had walked away 
along the vista down which they red blot and disappears. Why 
are peering." doesn't the light coming our way 

disappear, too?" 

"Well — you see, Joggy, it isn't 




S IF to provide an example, a 
figure suddenly materialized real light. It's 



» 



on their side of the bubble. The 



Once more the interpreter 



wolflike dogs bared their fangs, helped him out. 



For an instant, there was only an 



"The light that comes from the 



eerie, distorted, rapidly growing bubble is an isotope. Like atoms 

silhouette, changing from blood- of one element, photons of a sin- 

red to black as the boundary of 
the bubble cross-sectioned the in- 
truding figure. Then they recog- 
nized the back of another long- 
haired warrior and realized that 



the audience on the other side of 
the bubble had probably seen 
him approaching for some time. 

He bowed to the hooded figure 
and handed him a small bag. 

"More atavistic cubs, big and 
little! Hold still, Cynthia," a new 
voice cut in. 

Hal turned and saw that two 
cold-eyed girls had been ushered 
into the cubicle. One was wiping 
her close-cropped hair with one 
hand while mopping a green stain 
from her friend's back with the 

l 

other. 

Had nudged Joggy and whis- 
pered: "Butch!" 

But Joggy was still hypnotized 
by the Time Bubble. 

"Then how is it, Hal," he asked, 



gle frequency also have isotopes. 
It's more than a matter of polari- 
zation. One of these isotopes of 
light tends to leak futureward 
through holes in space-time. Most 
of the light goes down the vistas 
visible to the other side of the 
audience. But one isotope is di- 
verted through the walls of the 
bubble into the Time Theater. 
Perhaps, because of the intense 
darkness of the theater, you 
haven't realized how dimly lit the 
scene is. That's because we're get- 
ting only a single isotope of the 
original light. Incidentally, no iso- 
topes have been discovered that 
leak pastward, though attempts 
are being made to synthesize 
them." 

"Oh, explanations!" murmured 
one of the newly arrived girls. 
"The cubs are always angling for 
them. Apple-polishers!" 

"/ like this show," a familiar 



"that light comes out of the bub- voice announced serenely. "They 



TIME IN THE ROUND 



137 



cut anybody yet with those chop- 

pers?" 

Hal looked down beside him. 

"Butch! How did you manage to 
get in?" 

"I don't see any blood. Where's 

* 

the bodies?" 

"But how did you get in — 
Butcher?" 



rp HE Butcher replied airily : "A 
•*" red-headed man talked to me 
and said it certainly was sad for 
a future dictator not to be able to 
enjoy scenes of carnage in his 
youth, so I told him Fd been in- 
side the Time Theater and just 
come out to get a drink of water 
and go to the eliminator, but then 
my sprained ankle had got worse 
— I kind of tried to get up and fell 
down again — so he picked me up 
and carried me right through the 
usher." 

"Butcher, that wasn't honest," 
Hal said a little worriedly. "You 
tricked him into thinking you 
were older and his brain waves 
blanketed yours, going through 
the usher. I really have heard it's 
dangerous for you under-fives to 
be in here." 

"The way those cubs beg for 
babying and get it!" one of the 
girls commented. "Talk about 
sex favoritism!" She and her com- 
panion withdrew to the far end 
of the cubicle. 

The Butcher grinned at them 
briefly and concentrated his at- 



v 



tention on the scene in the Time 
Bubble. 

"Those big dogs—" he began 
suddenly. "Brute must have 
smelled 'em." 

"Don't be silly," Hal said. 
"Smells can't come out of the 
Time Bubble. Smells haven't any 
isotopes and- 

"I don't care," the Butcher as- 
serted. "I bet somebody'll figure 
out someday how to use the bub- 
ble for time traveling." 

"You can't travel in a point of 
view," Hal contradicted, "and 
that's all the bubble is. Besides, 
some scientists think the bubble 
isn't real at all, but a — uh 



» 



"I believe," the interpreter cut 
in smoothly, "that you're thinking 
of the theory that the Time Bub- 
ble operates by hypermemory. 
Some scientists would have us be- 
lieve that all memory is time 
traveling and that the basic loca- 
tion of the bubble is not space- 
time at all, but ever-present eter- 
nity. Some of them go so far as 
to state that it is only a mental 
inability that prevents the Time 
Bubble from being used for time 
traveling — just as it may be a 
similar disability that keeps a ro- 
bot with the same or even more 
scopeful memories from being a 
real man or animal. 

"It is because of this minority 
theory that under-age individuals 
and other beings with impulsive 
mentalities are barred from the 



138 



GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION 






Time Theater. But do not be tality," Hal warned him a little 



I r 

alarmed. Even if the minority 
theory should prove true — and 
no evidence for it has ever ap- 
peared—there are automatically 
operating safeguards to protect 
the audience from any harmful 



nervously. 
"Hah!" 
The sorcerer emptied the small 

bag on the fire and a thick cloud 
of smoke puffed toward the ceil- 
ing of the bubble. A clawlike hand 



consequences of time traveling waved wildly. The sorcerer ap- 



( almost certainly impossible, re- 
member) in either direction. ,, 

"Sissies!" was the Butcher's 
comment. 



? ? XT OU'RE rather young to be 
-*- here, aren't you?" the inter- 
preter inquired. 

The Butcher folded his arms 

and scowled. 

The interpreter hesitated al- 
most humanly, probably snatch- 
ing through a quarter-million mi- 
crotapes. "Well, you wouldn't 
have got in unless a qualified 
adult had certified you as plus- 
age. Enjoy yourself." 

There was no need for the last 
injunction. The scene within the 
bubble had acquired a gripping 
interest. The shaggy warriors 
were taking up their swords, gath- 
ering about the hooded sorcerer. 
The hood fell back, revealing a 
face with hawklike, disturbing 
eyes that seemed to be looking 
straight out of the bubble at the 
future. 

"This is getting good," the 
Butcher said, squirming toward 
the edge of his seat. 

"Stop being an impulsive men- 



peared to be expostulating, com- 
manding. The warriors stared un- 
comprehendingly, which seemed 
to exasperate the sorcerer. 

"That's right," the Butcher ap- 
proved loudly. "Sock it to 'em!" 

"Butcher!" Hal admonished. 

Suddenly the bubble grew very 
bright, as if the Sun had just 

-■ 

shone forth in the ancient world, 
though the rain still dripped 
down. 

"A viewing anomaly has oc- 
curred," the interpreter an- 
nounced. "It may be necessary to 
collapse the Time Bubble for a 
short period." 

In a frenzy, his ragged robes 
twisting like smoke, the sorcerer 
rushed at one of the warriors, 
pushing him backward so that in 
a moment he must cross-section. 

"Attaboy!" the Butcher encour- 
aged. 

Then the warrior was standing 
outside the bubble, blinking to- 
ward the shadows, rain dripping 
from his beard and furs. 

"Oh, boy!" the Butcher cheered 
in ecstasy. 

"Butcher, you've done it!" Hal 
said, aghast. 



TIME IN THE ROUND 



139 



"I sure did," the Butcher agreed 
blandly, "but that old guy in the 
bubble helped me. Must take two 
to work it." 



Here and there in the audience, 
other adults stood up. The 
emerged warriors formed a ring 
of swinging swords and questing 



"Keep your seats!" the inter- eyes. Between their legs their 



preter said loudly. "We are ener- 
gizing the safeguards!" 



r |^HE warriors inside the bub- 
-*• ble stared in stupid astonish- 
ment after the one who had dis- 
appeared from their view. The 
sorcerer leaped about, pushing 
them in his direction. 

Abrupt light flooded the Time 
Theater. The warriors who had 
emerged from the bubble stiff- 
ened themselves, baring their 
teeth. 

"The safeguards are now ener- 
gized," the interpreter said. 

A woman in a short golden 
tunic stood up uncertainly from 
the front row of the audience. 

The first warrior looked her up 
and down, took one hesitant step 
forward, then another, then sud- 
denly grabbed her and flung her 
over his left shoulder, looking 
around menacingly and swinging 
his sword in his right hand. 

"I repeat, the safeguards have 
been fully energized! Keep your 
seats!" the interpreter enjoined. 

In the cubicle, Hal and Joggy 
gasped, the two girls squeaked, 
but the Butcher yelled a "Hey!" 
of disapproval, snatched up some- 
thing from the floor and darted 
out through the sphincter. 



wolfish dogs, emerged with them, 
crouched and snarled. Then the 
warriors began to fan out. 







140 



GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION 



"There has been an unavoid- 

- 

able delay in energizing the safe- 
guards," the interpreter said. 
"Please be patient." 

At that moment, the Butcher 
entered the main auditorium, 
brandishing a levitator above his 



down the aisle. At his heels, five 
stocky forms trotted. In a defi- 
nitely pre-civilization voice, or at 
least with pre-civilization volume, 
he bellowed : "Hey, you! You quit 
that!" 

The first warrior looked toward 



head and striding purposefully him, gave his left shoulder a 




TIME IN THE ROUND 



141 



shake to quiet his wriggling cap- 
tive, gave his right shoulder one 
to supple his sword arm, and 
waited until the dwarfish chal- 
lenger came into range. Then his 
sword swished down in a flash- 
ing arc. 

i 

Next moment, the Butcher was 
on his knees and the warrior was 
staring at him open-mouthed. The 
sword had rebounded from some- 
thing invisible an arm's length 
above the gnomelike creature's 
head. The warrior backed a step. 

The Butcher stayed down, 
crouching half behind an aisle 
seat and digging for something in 
his pocket. But he didn't stay 
quiet. "Sic 'em, Brute!" he shrilled. 
"Sic 'em, Darter! Sic 'em, Pinkie 
and Whitie and Blue!" Then he 
stopped shouting and raised his 
hand to his mouth. 



i^ 1 ROWLING quite unmechani- 
^-* cally, the five uninjes hurled 
tKemselves forward and closed 
with the warrior's wolflike dogs. 
At the first encounter, Brute and 
Pinkie were grabbed by the 
throats, shaken, and tossed a 
dozen feet. The warriors snarled 
approval and advanced. But then 
Brute and Pinkie raced back ea- 
gerly to the fight — and suddenly 
the face of the leading warrior 
was drenched with scarlet. He 
blinked and touched his fingers 
to it, then looked at his hand in 
horror. 



The Butcher spared a second 
to repeat his command to the un- 
injes. But already the battle was 
going against the larger dogs. The 
latter had the advantage of 
weight and could toss the smaller 
dogs like so many foxes. But their 
terrible fangs did no damage, and 
whenever an uninj clamped on a 
throat, that throat was torn out. 

Meanwhile, great bloody stains 
had appeared on the bodies of all 
the warriors. They drew back in 
a knot, looking at each other fear- 
fully. That was when the Butcher 
got to his feet and strode forward, 
hand clenching the levitator 
above his head. 

"Get back where you belong, 
you big jerks! And drop that 
lady!" 

The first warrior pointed to- 
ward him and hissed something. 
Immediately, a half dozen swords 



were smiting at the Butcher. 

"We are working to energize 
the safeguards," the interpreter 
said in mechanical panic. "Re- 
main patient and in vour seats." 

Th^ unini*»s J««fv»d i^to the 
melep. at first tearing more fur 
than flesh. Swords caught them 
and sent them spinning through 
the air. They came yapping back 
for more. Brute fixed on the first 
warrior's ankle. He dropped the 
woman, stamped unavailingly on 
the uninj, and let out a screech. 

Swords were still rebounding 
from the invisible shield under 



142 



GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION 



which the Butcher crouched, viewing until further announce- 



making terrible faces at his at- 
tackers. They drew back, looked 
again at their bloodstains, goggled 
at the demon dogs. At their lead- 
er's screech, they broke and 
plunged back into the Time Bub- 
ble, their leader stumbling limp- 
ingly after them. There they 
wasted no time on their own rag- 
ged sorcerer. Their swords rose 
and fell, and no repulsor field 
stayed them. 

"Brute, come back!" the Butch- 
er yelled. 



HP HE gray uninj let go his hold 



1 



on the leader's ankle and 



scampered out of the Time Bub- 
ble, which swiftly dimmed to its 
original light intensity and then 
winked out. 

For once in their very mature 
lives, all of the adults in the au- 
ditorium began to jabber at each 
other simultaneously. 

"We are sorry, but the anom- 
aly has made it necessary to col- 
lapse the Time Bubble," the in- 
terpreter said. "There will be no 



ment. Thank you for your pa- 



» 



tience. 

Hal and Joggy caught up with 
the Butcher just as Brute jumped 
into his arms and the woman in 

i 

gold picked him up and hugged 
him fiercely. The Butcher started 
to pull away, then grudgingly 
submitted. 

"Cubs!" came a small cold voice 

from behind Hal and Joggy. "Al- 

I 

ways playing hero! Say, what's 
that awful smell, Cynthia? It 
must have come from those dirty 
past men." 

Hal and Joggy were shouting 
at the Butcher, but he wasn't lis- 
tening to them or to the older 
voices clamoring about "revised 
theories of reality" and other im- 
portant things. He didn't even 
squirm as Brute licked his cheek 
and the woman in gold planted a 
big kiss practically on his mouth. 

He smiled dreamily and stroked 
Brute's muzzle and murmured 
softly: "We came, we saw, we 
conquered, didn't we, Brute?" 

FRITZ LEIBER 



We're understandably proud of the fact that our subscribers get 
their copies of Galaxy at least a week before the newsstands do . . . 
but we can't maintain that enviable record unless, if you're moving, we 
get your old and new address promptly! It takes time to change our 
records, you know, so send in the data as soon as you have it! 



_* 



TIME-IN THE ROUND 



143 



(Continued From Page 4) 
protection, but it has a low sur- 
vival value in nature, for it lacks 
a mechanism of seed dispersal. 
. . . Where, when and how was a 
species, once so hardy that it 
could survive in the wild, con- 
verted to a cultivated plant so 
specialized . . . that it would soon 
become extinct if deprived of 
man's help?" 

The search for the origin of 
corn is as quietly tense as any 
private-eye chase. When Colum- 
bus landed in America, all the 
modern types were already in ex- 
istence. With radio-carbon dating, 
we know how old corn is — about 
1,000 B.C. in South America, 
about 2,000 B.C. in North Ameri- 
ca. But Mangelsdorf asks: "In 
what part of America did corn 
originate? And what kind of wild 
grass was it that gave rise to the 
multitude of present-day varieties 

of corn?" 

Closest wild relative: teosinte, 
which grows in Guatemala and 
Mexico. But hybridizing corn 
with tripsacum, a more distant 
relative that grows in North and 
South America, produces some- 
thing very much like teosinte. 
Odds, then, are that teosinte, even 
though more primitive, is a de- 
scendant of corn, not the ances- 
tor! (Byproduct hypothesis: Man 
may also be the median between 
a much superior and much infe- 
rior breed. Or we may produce 



Homo stupidus in the future.) 

Best chance is that corn came 
from pod corn, which is "more 
than a relative of corn; it is corn 
— a form of corn that differs from 
cultivated corn in exactly the way 
a wild species ought to differ." 

Moviegoers ought to be im- 
pressed by the fact that pop corn 
was eaten so long ago that: "Pot- 
tery utensils for popping corn, as 
well as actual specimens of the 
popped grains, have been found 
in prehistoric Peruvian graves." 

Bat Cave, in New Mexico, has 
an important lesson for us — it 
was occupied from 2,000 B.C. to 

1,000 a.d. and its tenants let six 

i 

feet of garbage accumulate in the 
cave. Stratified like soil, the ref- 
use showed corn in "a distinct 
evolutionary sequence. The old- 
est, at the bottom . . . are the 
smallest and most primitive." 

Modern sanitation is thus a 
hindrance to future archeologists. 
Time capsules are just what we 
think they might be interested in, 
whereas it may be something as 
mundane to us as corn was to the 
Bat Cave people. 

Pessimistic writers, seeing only 
ill ahead, might note this fact: 
"The pressure of natural selec- 
tion . . . was greatly reduced" in 
the development of corn, result- 
ing in a far more valuable plant 
than its ancestors, whose only vir- 
tue was self-preservation. 

— H. L. GOLD 



144 



GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION 



Looking For Us, Professor? 

» i 

"Hmm, yes. I was just cogitating upon the causes of GALAXY 
Science Fiction's phenomenal growth in popularity. 




1 






// 



// 



And that needs an explanation, Professor?" 




// 



// 



// 



// 



"Eventually, perhaps. But not in our lifetime. 

"We don't agree. Assuming you're right, though, isn't that all 
the more reason to want to know what we'll find on other 
planets, Professor?" 

"1 think I see what you mean. 

"Can we achieve immortality? 

"Ah. Hum. I've often wondered." 



// 



in 



"And travel to different eras in time?" 

"That would be exciting." 

"And you've been trying to discover why GALAXY is growing 
so popular? Every idea we've mentioned— and a lot more, be- 
sides—is treated dramatically and vividly in GALAXY! You really 
live them!" 



"Umm. How do I subscribe? After all, one shouldn't resist a 
trend, should one? Heh, heh!" 

"Just fill out the coupon— or make out your own order and 
send it in. The coupon's for your convenience, not ours. And now 
you'll be one of us!" 

"" ~~ """ — ': ~" ' 

Send me I year subscription to GALAXY $3.50—2 years $6.00 

ENCLOSED FIND 
YOUR NAME $ 



ADDRESS 



CITY STATE 



. 



"From a socio-psychological viewpoint, most definitely, 
what do you attribute the constant increase of interest?" _ 

"Well . . . let's try it this way, Professor. Suppose we ask tr'« 
questions and you answer them." 

"So? A bit unusual, but go right ahead." f | 

Do you think atomic doom is the only future for mankind?" J 

Not exactly, but the newspapers and the commentators 

"Of course. Well, we SHOW other possible futures. Do you 
believe we will be able to leave the Earth?" 






< 



V 



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